Empowering the Community

Allied Jiu Jitsu Provides Youth and Adults a Place to Come Together 

Article by Angel Fuchs

Photography by Dianna Stewart | Steward Strategies

Originally published in North Peoria Lifestyle

Pull Quote pg 2: 

We set out to create a place that people love and just really want to come to hang out. No attitudes, no drama.

Thomas Reichenberger, Jeff Cook and Shannon Horn trained together in jiu-jitsu. All three are passionate about the sport and knew they could bring something unique to the community. Allied Jiu Jitsu opened its doors in November 2019.

Opening a business right before a global pandemic hit was unfortunate timing, but things are now in full swing. A solid member base consists of people of all ages, skill levels and walks of life. 

The men believe in giving back to the community that has been so welcoming to them. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 a.m. the gym offers free classes to veterans and first responders. 

Reichenberger credits Cook with the idea. “He was a Special Forces Army Green Beret, and he teaches the class. It's important to him.”

Jiu-jitsu has a way of bringing people together. “At the gym I see so many people forming relationships and connecting with people they might not have otherwise,” says Reichenberger.

Horn believes in the power of jiu-jitsu. “It will literally change your life. You won’t understand unless you jump in and try it, but you are surrounded by so many great people who sincerely want to see you improve.”

Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone


Jiu-Jitsu teaches young children coordination, builds muscle, and even teaches them the proper way to fall to help prevent injury. Allied offers classes for children as young as three years old.


Jiu-Jitsu is great for teens. Reichenberger mentions that many high-school wrestlers use jiu-jitsu to train during the off-season. It is a great workout and a way to stay in shape for all teens. It is also a great way to build confidence.


Adults find benefits from the sport as well. It offers something for everyone, from weight loss to confidence building. It helps with strength training, flexibility and mental acuity.

Thomas Reichenberger offers tips for 

understanding Jiu-Jitsu

what is jiu-jitsu?

Jiu-Jitsu comes from the Japanese "Jū" meaning gentle and "Jutsu" meaning art. Jiu-Jitsu is the "gentle art". It is a form of martial art that uses no weapons. Instead, it focuses on holds, throws and blows to overcome an opponent. It developed over the centuries, originating in 17th-century Japan. 

how does jiu-jitsu work the body?

Jiu-Jitsu is often called "human chess" because it requires physical and mental awareness. Physically, it uses pressure-based isometric movements that increase strength and cardio, making it a great way to lose weight and improve muscle tone. Mentally, you must think ahead and plan your next movement, so it helps develop reasoning skills. 

who can benefit from Jiu-Jitsu?

Jiu-Jitsu is an excellent workout for anyone. Reichenberger emphasizes that it helps the mind as well as the body. "It's a great way to build confidence and get all of your energy out after a long day."

Allied Jiu Jitsu is located at 10100 W Lake Pleasant Parkway in Peoria. Visit online at for more information.

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