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Michael Olajide, Jr., Co-Founder
A former champion boxer and international fitness expert, Michael Olajide, Jr. is the Co-Founder, Director of Programs and Chief Instructor at AEROSPACE.

Born in Liverpool, England, Michael and his family moved to Vancouver, Canada, in 1970. At age 18, Michael began his career as a professional boxer trained by his father Michael Olajide, Sr. and renowned boxing coaches Hector Rocca (Buddy McGirt, Arturo Gatti) and Angelo Dundee (Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard).

“My father taught me how important conditioning is to being a true champion,” Michael says. “I think that advice has always stayed with me.”

Known as “Silk” for his exceptionally smooth footwork, hand speed and head movement, Michael’s boxing record was 28 wins and 4 losses – with 20 wins by knockout. Michael earned four championship titles and became the No. 1 ranked middleweight contender in the world. His boxing career highlights include:

    1990:    Fought Thomas "Hitman" Hearns for the World Super Middleweight Title
    1990:    #2 World Super Middleweight Contender
    1987:    #1 World Middleweight Contender
    1987:    WBC Intercontinental Middleweight Champion
    1985:    World Athletic Association Middleweight Champion
    1984:    Canadian Middleweight Champion
    1984:    Pacific Northwest Middleweight Champion

Michael paid the price for his pugilistic glory. The patch is not part of a calculated image. He is legally blind in his right eye, and his 1991 retirement from boxing was the result of his eye injury. “I wasn’t seeing ‘em coming anymore,” Michael says.

Using some of the smooth moves he perfected in the ring and combining them with basic conditioning movements such as jumping rope, push-ups and lower body lunges, Michael pioneered the innovative and challenging AERO workouts, including AEROBOX®, AEROJUMP®, AEROSCULPT™ and AEROIMPACT™ that use the training techniques of boxing to help clients achieve optimum health.

Michael’s workouts have earned widespread acclaim. He was dubbed “the undisputed champion of boxing fitness” by Sports Illustrated and recognized in New York magazine’s 2003 “Best of New York” feature. He has also been featured on major television networks and cable channels including CBS, ABC, ESPN, FOX and Nickelodeon.

“AEROSPACE goes beyond boxing, truth be told, to create the ultimate fitness experience,” says Michael. “Using the techniques of professional athletes is the best way to perfect every physical and mental attribute – endurance, dexterity, power, speed and focus. It’s the most efficient, effective and rewarding workout on the planet.”

Kathy Smith, “America’s Fitness Guru,” teamed up with Michael to produce the AEROBOX™ Workout video in 1995 that went to No. 3 on the Billboard Health and Fitness Charts. Shape magazine called the AEROBOX™ Workout “one of the best video workouts of all time.”

Michael’s expertise in the ring and at New York City’s top fitness clubs quickly got the attention of leading directors including Spike Lee, Michael Mann and George Wolfe who asked him to serve as a consultant on their films and theatrical productions.

For Spike Lee’s Subway Stories series for HBO, Michael choreographed the fight scenes, and in Ali, starring Will Smith, he helped cast key parts and ensured that the boxing scenes were realistic. Michael also worked as a choreographer on a number of highly acclaimed theatrical productions including Blade to the Heat starring Kamar Delosreyes at the Shakespeare Public Theater and Golden Boy starring Alfonso Ribiero at City Center in New York City.

In 2003, Michael teamed up with actor and first-time director John Leguizamo for Undefeated, for which he taught Leguizamo how to box like a champion and also starred as his title-holding opponent. In 2004, Michael will be featured in the Showtime release Paradise, starring Kirk Acevedo.

In 2004 Michael was hired by celebrated director Brian Depalma to consult and choreograph the fight scenes for the 2005 release of a film named The Black Dahlia, starring Josh Hartnett, Mark Wahlberg and Scarlett Johansson.

The AEROBOX™ and AEROJUMP™ workouts are also popular master classes that have been presented at fund raisers and benefits for the Arthur Ashe Foundation, Bennetton: Give a Kid a Dream Charity and for the fight against Muscular Dystrophy.

The opening of AEROSPACE marks the culmination of Michael’s career and the next stage of his revolution in fitness.

“Whatever your personal goals, AEROSPACE will help you reach your potential,” Michael says.


Leila Fazel, Co-Founder
A former professional ballet dancer and luxury spa innovator with Ian Schrager Hotels, Leila Fazel is Director of Operations at AEROSPACE High Performance Center.

Born in Utah and raised in Tehran, Iran, Leila started studying ballet at the age of seven. After returning to the United States at age nine, she continued her dance studies with the Cleveland and San Francisco ballet companies. At age 15, she was personally selected by the late Robert Joffrey to study at the Joffrey Ballet in New York City.

The daughter of two college professors (her father taught psychology at Purdue, her mother taught art history at Indiana University in Ft. Wayne), Leila attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where she studied under the direction of renowned ballet masters Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride from the New York City Ballet.

After earning performance and business degrees, Leila was invited by Bonnefoux to dance at his prestigious summer program in Chataqua, New York, where he gathers the world’s most influential teachers and students for intensive studies and performance. There, Leila was discovered by Walter Reins, the late director of the ballet school at the Dance Theater of Harlem, and she joined his school in New York.  Six months later, the company’s director (and Balanchine protégé) Arthur Mitchell invited her to dance professionally with the
ensemble and her performances included Rubies, Serenade and Allegro Brilliant.

“I was fortunate to have the opportunity to study with some of the best dancers and teachers in the world,” Leila recalls. “They taught me about the importance of determination, discipline and going for your dreams.”

When an injury forced her to retire from ballet, Leila channeled her education, experience and artistic passion into creating new business opportunities. She developed the concept and business plan for a new breed of luxury spas that would combine the sensibilities of Eastern philosophy and modern Western design. Partnering with Ian and Rita Schrager of Ian Schrager Hotels, the team launched the trendsetting Agua spas in Miami, London and Los Angeles.
Leila says the inspiration for the Agua spas came from her childhood in Iran, when she would go to ancient natural baths, called Hamams, with her mother and grandmother. “The baths were a beautiful and sacred space where you could relax, connect with family and rejuvenate the body and spirit,” Leila remembers. “I wanted to bring the wisdom and healing of the baths to the United States.”

The concept worked and the Agua spas earned international acclaim, including features in Vanity Fair, Harpers Bazaar, Vogue (US, UK and Italy), Elle (Germany) and the New York Times, among others.

In 1998, Leila happened upon one of champion boxer Michael Olajide Jr.’s AEROBOX® classes at a sports club in New York City and was captivated by the excitement and athleticism in the room. “It amazed me how similar it was to dancing,” Leila says. “It gave me everything I missed from dancing – strength, agility, balance, coordination, musicality. I fell in love with training all over again.”

Olajide quickly recognized Leila’s dedication, professionalism and talent, and the two joined forces to develop and produce the AEROBOX®, AEROJUMP® and AEROSCULPT™ video workouts.

With the opening of the AEROSPACE High Performance Center, Leila and Michael are creating a revolutionary new fitness lifestyle that combines the techniques of professional athletes with a luxury spa experience to provide one of the most efficient, effective and rewarding approaches to fitness anywhere.

“AEROSPACE offers a complete fitness solution for people to realize their best selves,” she says.


2004 AEROSPACE. All Rights Reserved.