Tony Castro wears a lot of hats around here. You might find him teaching MOTR Pilates, a form of Pilates that makes use of a specialized roller. Or maybe you’ve come across Tony as he’s leading a Tai Chi flow backed by traditional Chinese instruments. Or maybe you’ve rolled with him at a BJJ open mat. Even still, you could have seen him supporting his son at a Youth Martial Arts class. Regardless of where you meet Tony, he’s always happy to share his knowledge of martial arts and physical fitness with you. Who better to sit down with for our latest instructor interview?

You recently launched the MOTR Pilates program at EvolveAll. How did you find MOTR Pilates and how can people benefit from these exercises?

It was random! My wife and I were on vacation in the UK and I was looking for a workout while we were there. Keep in mind this was my “taper” period for a Half Ironman I had been training for. The taper period is that last week and a half of training, when you have done all the work and are letting your body recover prior to the event. I was in excellent shape and signed up for a MOTR session at a local studio thinking it would be a good/easy way to stay loose.

Soon into the workout I realized this was more challenging than anticipated, but also that I was working joints and muscles in a new way I had neglected in all my other workouts. I became really interested in this piece of equipment and the corresponding training exercises, so much that I bought one for myself for home workouts. The more I used and studied this equipment the more I saw the benefits. I became interested to the point that I took instructor training classes to be a certified instructor.

MOTR workouts are part of the broader Pilates training regimen that focuses on core strength and balance. This can benefit us by giving us a stronger, better aligned posture that will also help us be better at any other physical activity such as – in my case – triathlons and martial arts.

You also lead our Tai Chi Chuan program, which has been a great success as it’s grown over the last year or so. You’ve done some really interesting special events incorporating music and culture. How do those events come together?

There is a good network of Tai Chi practitioners in the DMV and I have been fortunate to build ties with some amazing people who are looking to spread the practice of Tai Chi. They do this from a place of sincerity because they understand the physical and psychological benefits that can come from the focused and dedicated practice of Tai Chi. This, in turn, can contribute to positive outcomes in our daily lives as we meet real world challenges and opportunities, and therefore can help make a better world.

When we set up these events our goal is to discuss a specialized topic that is normally only seen in the scholarly texts and therefore only Tai Chi practitioners who are longer into their journey will be exposed to. By doing so we are in a way accelerating the learning and growth of the attendees by demystifying advanced concepts. We also make it a point to discuss Taoist philosophy as this is the foundation of Tai Chi.

From a logistical standpoint, it’s not too difficult to make these events come together. While we do put a lot of effort into the planning of the workshop and developing the teaching materials, being able to hold these events at EvolveAll eliminates a major challenge by providing an amazing space where the participants can learn and grow.

You’re a longstanding member of our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program. What part of your game are you focused on now?

I’m actually the most focused on the students that attend my classes. Jiu-Jitsu is an important part of my martial arts journey, but at this point in my life I realize I am entering a new phase of martial arts that is less about me and more about what I can do to help others progress. I am still learning as we must always be looking to improve and grow, but in this next phase of my journey I aim to do my best work by combining all of my studies and training with life experiences to refine my teaching skills and do my best at teaching others. My goal is to see students grow beyond me.  

Why do you think it’s important to be active?

One word – LONGEVITY. The goal of staying active is to live a healthy life for as long as possible. Obviously, there are near-term benefits to being active. At a minimum it allows you to do the things you enjoy, be it a simple as a walk or more challenging activities. You also feel better and look better. Beyond that, we’re starting to see a shift in thinking from increasing “lifespan” to increasing “healthspan” and being fit, strong and flexible is necessary to achieve a longer healthspan. 

What do you like to do outside of the studio?

From a training perspective, I enjoy triathlons, so I try to swim, bike or run whenever I get a chance. I also have a full-time job so whatever free time I have when not training or working is spent with my wife and son. We try to keep my son busy with activities too, spending time with friends and family, and enjoy traveling. My goal is to retire in five years and focus 100% on training, teaching and have more free time for my family.


Your Coach


Tony Castro PhD

Tony Castro PhD

Tai Chi Chuan, Pilates, Jiu Jitsu





MOTR - Pilates

6:00 pm - 6:45 pm

MOTR - Pilates

Monday 6:00 pm - 6:45 pm

MOTR - Pilates

6:00 pm - 6:45 pm

MOTR - Pilates

Wednesday 6:00 pm - 6:45 pm

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