20 Years Ago, It All Began

20 years ago this month, First Choice Martial Arts was born.  At the time, we had no idea how we would positively impact this community for the next two decades from this dream of ours. I remember very vividly Kathy and me embarking on this crazy journey after our son Ben, some you would know as Sensei Ben, was first born. The idea of this wild notion of opening a karate school, with a newborn baby that was less than three months old, seemed improbable at the time but we thought let's just give it a shot.

The Dojo was smaller back then as we ran everything in one space to keep things as simple as possible. Kathy would run to the Dojo and paint in the middle of the night, and I would bring Ben to her for his feedings in between start-up jobs. What seemed impossible at the time soon became possible through a little bit of effort, commitment, and perseverance.

At that time class energy wasn't there just yet, as we had to teach every student how to respond and perform in the classroom. There were no big groups of kids yelling “Yes Sir” or “No Sir” as it took time to develop that. As the months went by the kids started to catch on and you could see the momentum begin. Although it felt odd at times to teach one student in the class, we knew it was necessary to put in the time to create the greatness we have today. Sometimes it would feel more like a private lesson and not a group lesson, so we had to adopt different teaching methods to get the most from the students we had.

I never take those times for granted and I still love it when a group of kids emphatically respond “Yes Sir” in the classroom. The energy is contagious, and it not only puts the students in a great mood but the instructors and the spectators as well. The reason I mention this is it seems to happen every year at this time of year as we approach the end of the summer vacation. The structure starts to creep in, the kids start to get focused, and the motivation begins to grow. Let's hang on to those precious moments and take them into the upcoming school year to make this year bigger and better than ever.

We look forward to next month's graduation and are excited to see our students reach another level of achievement. Constant and never-ending improvement is our main motto at First Choice Martial Arts, and we are so excited and thrilled to see what this school year will bring.

Good luck on next month's belt test, and congratulations on staying committed this past summer. We support you and are eager to see what lies ahead.

Dedicated to your achievements.

Sensei Chris