No Joke Inc.
was officially founded in 2002 by Rich Whitenack
. The Whitenacks were your typical middle-class, Midwestern family who had everything they needed; a small house with a bedroom for each child, regular family cookouts, and a pet cat.
But everything changed one day when Rich decided to do something a little crazy. He made the decision to turn his passion for Martial Arts into a full-time career. With the purchase of a set of foam mats, the family sacrificed a garage in exchange for a private training space.
quickly moved up the ranks as an Amateur Kick-boxer by winning a growing number of national titles, including the 2000 International Kickboxing Federation Amateur, Full-Contact Super Welterweight title. Whitenack later gave up his career in the automotive industry to train students at Z's Martial Arts Academy alongside Shihan Rob Zibilski.
With every piece of the puzzle in place, the rest is history. An increasing demand for Kickboxing and Children's Martial Arts instruction through Mr. Whitenack forced No Joke Kickboxing (as it was originally named) to quickly outgrow its home within the family garage and move into a commercial property in the Rockford area. Meanwhile, Rich advanced in his Kickboxing career and eventually turned professional. By the time he retired as an athlete, Rich had won the respect of competitors worldwide as a Professional Kick-boxer.
Check out this throwback (circa 2005):