At first glance Max Atefi might appear as a serious engineer with a natural attraction for precise details and problem solving. However, after scrolling his social media accounts or spending a few minutes with him, you will find there is so much more to this GoCreate member. Matin (or Max as he’s known by) came to the United States in 2009. As a refugee from Iran, Max struggled with being an introvert and expressing himself. He had studied gymnastics but around the age of seventeen it was no longer a challenge and he grew tired of the sport. “The coach told my father to take me someplace else,” Atefi said with a slight laugh. “I watched YouTube videos and became interested in Parkour and free running, and that’s really where my fascination took off,” said Atefi. “I started constructing my obstacles and challenged myself to get better, and became one of the best in the sport.” Atefi has competed in several Parkour competitions, placing as high as second in the United States Parkour Competition.
“One day I walked into a gymnastics academy here in Wichita and asked if they needed an instructor,” Atefi said. “They had no idea what Parkour was so I showed them what I could do. They looked at me kind of strange and then said they would hold on to my number if they were interested. They called me shortly thereafter and I’ve been coaching ever since.” Nearly 10 years later, Atefi coaches one of the most desired classes offered by Acrobatic Academy, Inc. four nights a week. “We have approximately 60 students enrolled in the classes, and at least 20 on the waiting list,” he said.
With Atefi’s passion for coaching, he also enjoys creating for the students he teaches. “I got involved in GoCreate because I wanted to make prototypes for my cubes and obstacles,” Atefi said. “I’m still working the fine details but I also make things to reward my students and give positive reinforcement.” He last made a bracelet stand out of plexiglass so he could have a place to store the bracelets he hands out to kids. “GoCreate has been a great resource for me to make some of my ideas and implement them in my daily coaching life. This place helps me make things so I can be a positive impact on the kids I teach.”
When he’s not coaching or working his daytime engineering job, Atefi has started an entrepreneur group that meets at GoCreate. “Shift 4 is a small group of inventors who are looking to develop products that everyone can use. We are currently looking to do a Kickstarter campaign as well. We really want to make products that can make the world better.”
Make sure to check out Max’s Instagram for more photos and amazing videos of his stunts @Matin_Atefi!