In December of 2015, my youngest son decided that he would like to try martial arts. My wife asked some of her friends if they knew of any places to go. They said that Range Martial Arts in Chisholm was a great family-orientated studio. This location worked out great being just a few miles from our house, and we signed him up. I brought him for a few weeks, sitting and watching. I noticed that some of the parents were in the class. I thought, what a great opportunity to share a sport with my son! I signed up for the adult class.
Skip ahead to October of 2019, after years of hard work and great instruction, and I was ready for my black belt test. The test was very mentally and physically challenging; however, the extreme pride and feeling of accomplishment at the end was absolutely worth the effort. I was thinking that I had finally reached my goal, and I could relax a bit. What I didn’t recognize yet was the next step being the opportunity to help teach and mentor the next in line to achieve their goals. I soon understood that my journey had not ended but was just starting.
I am excited to continue teaching and mentoring students of all ages from white belts on up. It is fun to watch them progress and build confidence as they understand that we are not only teaching techniques, but we are teaching them about discipline, hard work, respect, and community. All these lessons will help in all aspects of their lives.
Some of my other teaching opportunities have been Cub Scouts leader, Ninja coach at Northern Twistars Gymnastics, tree specialist at the Environmental Youth Day for Hibbing Elementary, and Project Coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service Youth Conservation Corps.