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Faiferlick went from airman to business owner

Veteran takes Air Force core values into private enterprise

-Messenger photo by Bill Shea
Justin Faiferlick poses with a U.S. Air Force banner at one of his businesses, Faiferlick Taekwondo, Martial Arts and Fitness LLC. The veteran of the Air Force and Iowa national Guard also owns Next Edge Performance.

During a 30-year military career, Justin Faiferlick, of Fort Dodge, embraced the core values of the United States Air Force.

Those core values, he said, are integrity, service before self and excellence in all we do.

”They set a person up with an excellent foundation to be a leader,” he said.

And as Faiferlick has demonstrated, those values also equip a person to own and run multiple businesses.

He is the owner of Faiferlick Taekwondo, Martial Arts, Self-Defense and Fitness LLC, which he established in 2014.

-Messenger file photo
Justin Faiferlick, owner of Faiferlick Martial Arts and Fitness, poses with a six foot trophy he won in a 1993 taekwondo competition and several other medals he’s earned throughout his time in martial arts.

He is also the owner of Next Edge Performance, which opened last year.

Long before he was a veteran and business owner, Faiferlick was a St. Edmond Catholic School graduate who enlisted in the Air Force.

He picked the Air Force because he wanted to be a combat control operator. That is an airman who is among the first people into a war zone. The operator’s job is to clear a landing area and then direct aircraft into that area.

Air Force combat control operators work closely with the Army, Marine Corps and Navy to form what the military calls a joint team.

Faiferlick completed his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Then he went to Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi for air traffic control school.

His next stop was an Army base, Fort Benning in Georgia, for paratrooper training.

For someone who admits he is afraid of heights, parachuting out of an airplane is a pretty intimidating concept. Faiferlick quickly mastered the skill, however, and ended up making numerous jumps, including some at night and others at low altitudes.

”Jumping out of an airplane is just a different experience when you trust your equipment,” he said.

”I don’t know that it cured my fear of heights,” he added.

After completing jump school, he moved to Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina, which became his regular post.

He served in the Air Force from 1987 to 1989.

Not long after returning to Fort Dodge, he enlisted in the local Iowa Air National Guard unit.

‘i didn’t realize that unit was here until I got back from the active duty Air Force,” he said.

When he joined, the unit was the 133rd Air Control Squadron and specialized in air traffic control missions.

Because it used so much technology to do those missions, the unit evolved into today’s 133rd Test Squadron, which tries out all kinds of electronics and radars before they are issued to the U.S. military.

In 1998, he went to officer school at McGee-Tyson Air Force Base in Tennessee, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant.

Back at the Fort Dodge squadron, he moved to the maintenance department, and eventually became chief of maintenance.

As a member of the Iowa Air National Guard, he was deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq,, Italy, Norway, Qatar and South Korea,

He retired last year with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Throughout his career and throughout his life, he practiced martial arts.

In 2014, he began teaching martial arts classes at night at Fort Frenzy.

”They were wonderful partners for us to start with,” he said. ”About six months later we were growing enough that we wanted our own place.”

In 2015, he moved the martial arts business into a building at 567 S. 25th St. which once housed an electrical contractor.

Today, that business offers taekwondo and Gracie jiu-jitsu lessons plus after school programs for second through eighth graders.

Fiaferlick also offers Women Empowered, a self-defense course for girls and women age 13 and up.

This summer, he plans to add some summer camps for kids age 5 to 14. He said those camps will teach martial arts, dance, tumbling and outdoor sports.

Throughout his martial arts career, Faiferlick has tried different services, such as cryogenics and oxygen therapy, to improve his physical performance.

He decided that the Fort Dodge community would be well served by having some of each of those services at one location. That is the concept behind Next Edge Performance, located at 2419 Fifth Ave. S., Suite A.

Next Edge Performance offers a range of services designed to help clients recover faster and feel better.

Those services include cryotherapy, infrared sauna, fitness pod, oxygen bar, red light therapy, pulsed electromagnetic therapy, high intensity interval training, yoga and cycling.

That business was ready for its first customers on March 15, 2020. The emerging COVID-19 pandemic put an end to that planned opening..

The business opened in May 2020.

”We had a slow start, but business was really good in December, January and February,” Faiferlick said.

Looking to the future, Faifelick would like to put both of his businesses in one building.

”I really want to bring my businesses together in one facility,” he said.

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