I have been a competitive athlete since the age 14 when I began my martial arts career competing in tournament fighting and forms. I taught my first Karate class at the age of 15 and received my first degree Black Belt in Wado Ryu Karate at the age of 17. Black Belt and Karate Illustrated Magazines acknowledged my abilities, rating me the #1 lightweight female fighter and forms competitor in the South and listed in the top 10 female competitors in the Nation.
In 1977, Ned McWherter and The Tennessee State House of Representatives honored me for my accomplishments.
In 1989, my husband Levi Montgomery and I, created Priority One as a focal means of bringing our two professions together as one for presentation to the public.
1990 I began coaching and competing as a member of a 6 person national Karate team that consisted of 5 of my own nationally rated students. In 1995, as the oldest female member of the USA Kickboxing Team, I traveled to Stuttgart Germany where I competed at the World Games winning a gold, silver and bronze medal. Although I continue to practice privately, I officially retired from competitive Karate the following December.
Following my retirement from Martial Arts and as rehab for several knee injuries, I found another competitive outlet in weight training. I discovered the sport of bodybuilding which allowed me to fulfill the need “To Train and Compete” and was much easier on my joints. At the age of 43, I entered my first amateur body building competition, the Tennessee State Body Building Championships. I placed 1st in both my age and weight class. I continued competing and winning up to and including the 2005 Jr. Nationals, where I placed 7th.
Julia’s Body Shop, established 2003, is a ”boutique” studio specializing in fitness consultations, nutritional coaching, personal training and armed/unarmed self defense.
I am not a drill sergeant; I’m a fitness professional and nutrition coach. I have been a successful competitive athlete all of my adult life and most of my youth. I’ve trained successful athletes, 5 year old children and 80 year old grandmothers. This is my passion. I truly love what I do. I have been fortunate enough in my career to have trained with wonderfully gifted teachers “of life”. My hope is that I will pass on a fraction of what I have learned from them. What I have to offer is the same energy, enthusiasm and attention that I would want for myself. My heart and mind are always open for learning. I have a lifetime of experience to share with you. If you are willing to be better, I’m willing to help. And I’ll bet we’ll both learn something in the process.
Levi Montgomery is chief instructor for Priority One’s “Lebanon Self Defense”, located inside Julia's Body Shop @ 112 Babb Dr in Lebanon, TN.
His law enforcement career began in 1979, and his postings as a police officer have included SWAT, undercover, vice, patrol and tactical training officer. With an extensive background in police tactics, weapons use and Martial Arts, his unique methods of controlling aggression have been recognized and implemented throughout the US and abroad by special operation groups such as Team MIKE in Kosovo, H8 (Hostile Area Tactical Escort) Teams in Iraq and special interest groups operating out of the western U.S. In addition, Montgomery is a Master Tracking Instructor trainer, instructing law enforcement and military personnel throughout the United States and Canada in the use of police tactics and Visual/Tactical Man Tracking.
The threatening nature of many of Montgomery’s work environments – particularly undercover operations with no back-up support – led him to create a method of dealing with aggression that is hidden from those around him while effectively managing the physical situation, both without appearing to be the aggressor. This method has become his trademark, earning him well-deserved praise and respect from students, practitioners and law enforcement administration.
Levi’s non-conventional, open-minded approach to exploring a topic keeps the training sessions fresh and engaging. Because he’s always seeking a “better way” to deal with aggression, he has challenged many of the current methods in use and has developed, and continues to develop new methods that effectively address today’s issues via alternative means. While maintaining the highest degree of safety, he’s not adverse to altering or even completely changing, commonly accepted training standards and “rules” in order to create realistic and dynamic training procedures. Demand for his methods of training keep the "Lebanon Self Defense" training staff on the move.
September 14, 2004 our dearest friend Todd Engstrom was killed in action in Iraq. He was such a wonderful person - a son, husband, father and our best friend. We have a hole in our heart and miss him every single day.
Todd was a police officer here in Nashville when he met my husband Levi. He began and continued tactical training with Levi for 12 years. In 2001, Todd was hired by the “entity” and set up camp in Kosovo. After four tours with “Team Mike”, Todd was hired by a private firm to manage the security of “Camp Rock” in Falujah, Iraq. There he established, trained and lead a spec ops group working high risk missions within the Sunni triangle. Tragically, two weeks before his scheduled return to the states, Todd and team were attacked while performing a mission. The attack left Todd dead and three others injured. After Todd’s death, the “Company” contracted Levi to fill the void and take over Todd’s training responsibilities for this special operations team…
This was the birth of My Boot Camp program. I knew Levi, at the age of 50, would need to be in the absolute best shape of his life. We both knew that his life would depend on iWith this in mind I designed a program that did just that. A combination of high intensity interval training coupled with high intensity strength and agility drills. All of this performed with helmet, boots and a 20lb. Flack jacket. His exercise heart rate and recovery rates were recorded on every single drill, for every single workout from October through December 2004. In addition to this 4-day workout with me, he did 3 days of fat burning cardio on his own for one hour, a total of 7 training days per week. He also endured endless hours of tactical weapons training everyday. Levi was in the best shape, mentally and physically, of his life. Mission Accomplished!!! He was ready to go.
During this training period, several of our personal friends joined the workout. They also got fabulous results and felt better than ever. One of our good friends, Roy DePue, got such great results, he suggested that I might redesign the program and offer it to the general public. I took his advice, redesigned the program and began offering it to the public in the summer of 2005. I stayed with the same basic principals used for Levi’s program plus a sensible eating plan for life. The results are a program that takes the average person and turns them into a leaner, stronger, more functional and most of all more confident person. I am so proud of my boot campers. This marked the beginning of what is now known as small group personal training.