The Dan Ward Experience
The Dan Ward Experience.
An interview with Dan Ward.
It’s a warm summer day in Nashville, and I’m here outside Dan Ward’s personal training facility where he is being interviewed by a reporter from a local newspaper. As one of Dan’s most regular clients, I was asked if I’d like to stick around for the interview.
I’m happy to be here because “The Dan Ward Experience” has positively impacted my life in so many ways. I’m more confident, self-disciplined and assured. I now know how to manage my own workout, but I usually work-out and hang-out here because this environment is my favorite place to be. I’ve gotten in shape, sharpened my self-defense skills, and grown in mind, body and spirit. I now help Dan with new clients, and manage the facility when he is away, and I’m thrilled to be a part of this.
We’re outside the small warehouse that houses Dan’s facility and the sun is shining down on us as we all get acquainted. I can hear head-banging, motivational music through the walls as his clients are inside completing their workouts. Dan is super-excited to be talking about his business, The Dan Ward Experience.
The Dan Ward Experience is a new fitness/martial arts training center that opened here in the fall of 2025.
Dan is explaining to the reporter that his idea for the name of his personal training business came to him when he lived in Chicago. He was doing personal training and teaching martial arts as a hobby when one of his clients told him:
“This was a great experience working with you. You should do this as a business.”
A light bulb went off in Dan’s head and he came up with the name, The Dan Ward Experience.
As their conversation continued, Dan told the reporter about the facility and what he offers. He said that he wanted to make his facility different from other gyms in that he wanted his clients to feel as though they were playing instead of just working out. He told the reporter that he affectionately calls his facility “The Playground” because he loves the idea of playing instead of just having an ordinary workout.
“It’s equipped with a mixture of old-school and modern training equipment so that I can provide a thorough training environment for my clients.”
Dan said that since its opening, he has gotten tremendous positive feedback from the men and women who train here.
“They are not only getting in shape but getting educated as well.”
He explains it like this:
“I want to motivate and educate my clients so that eventually they can help others. A pay-it-forward philosophy, if you will.”
The question came up about his credentials, and Dan went on to say that he is a certified personal trainer, a certified Kettlebell Instructor and a 7th Degree black belt in a blended form of Martial Arts from the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts. He is also an instructor in a system called MARS (Martial Arts Research System ) under Guro Ron Balicki. In total, he has over 35 years of experience that he brings to the table.
As the sun begins to give way, and shadows form on the building, I can’t help but think how lucky I am to have joined the Dan Ward experience and how lucky Nashville is to have him here. We move to the inside of the building so that Dan can give the reporter a tour of the facility. It’s filled with all kinds of training equipment. In one area, there are three heavy-bags hanging where clients are practicing martial arts techniques. In another area, there are two people working with the battling ropes, doing various core and upper/lower body exercises. They look like they are having a great workout.
I see five people working with Kettlebells doing what’s called a complex (multiple exercises designed to work the whole body). The reporter asked about the ladders he sees perched against the wall. Dan explained that the ladders are used to climb — similar to a jungle gym on a school playground. As we continue touring the facility, we hear some of Dan’s clients saying how much they love the motivating music that’s playing. He has other training gear spread throughout the facility that is being used. Some clients were flipping big tractor tires and some were hitting the tires with sledgehammers, mimicking chopping wood.
The interview moves into an office where Dan talks about why he opened the Dan Ward Experience in Nashville. He says that and his wife moved here because they fell in love with the feeling of down-home country living, the food and the music of course.
Dan’s passion, outside of running this gym, is traveling all across the country in his Red Jeep Rubicon Gladiator, pulling his cool retro-looking RV, camping out and hiking. He and his wife like to travel out west to places like Santa Fe, Utah, and the Grand Canyon.
When they’re not on long trips across the country, they take their RV to the smokey mountains some weekends to hike and observe nature (flowers and the animals in their natural habitat). Dan says that seeing the sunrises always reminds him that everyday is a new beginning to a great day.
The reporter asks Dan if those are the words he would like to leave with his readers, and Dan replies that the most important thing he tries to instill in his clients is that there are no weaknesses. He elaborates:
“There are no weaknesses. Only challenges. And challenges are just hurdles that haven’t been cleared yet.”