(Hiroshi) I think it’s just natural that a person will always try to find what’s most comfortable. So it’s a challenge with your mind saying “I’m gonna push myself, I’m gonna keep going, I’m not gonna quit.” It’s that constant battle of who’s gonna win? Is it gonna be your weaknesses or is it gonna be your strengths? I’ve been in karate since I was 4 years old I’ve competed in the Philippines, France, England, Venezuela I’ve won seven US national titles, three times world champion. Karate has had an impact in everything that I’ve done. School, jobs I’ve worked, even into relationships I can always find some kind of connection to karate. It’s my solace. It gives me my peace. Once I saw that karate was my tool for helping my community, I knew I had to teach. That’s why I do what I do. Three! Four! Five, kiai! Five punch kiai Yame, stand up (Hiroshi) I had my own karate studio when I was 15 and it became a way for me to support myself through college. But when I started realizing the impact I could have over students, I decided, more than just paying for college, I think I want to make this my career. I basically run my business like I would train as an athlete. First of all you have to have discipline. Monday and Tuesday mornings are all spent just bookkeeping then I can spend the rest of the week just focusing on lesson plans and teaching. Marketing and advertising is challenging I try to stay humble, and so it’s hard to talk about yourself But when I wake up in the morning I’m looking forward to teaching that afternoon and that kinda supersedes anything that I don’t enjoy about the business. When I moved to Las Vegas, no one knew me And so, I had to grow within the community to where people would trust me as a businessperson as an instructor, competing not only with other martial arts schools, but I’m also competing with other sports. My niche is with kids. I know other martial arts schools say “You have to get a staff of instructors” but that’s not my philosophy. My students come to me for that service. I say that I teach karate, and I teach all my students. We have 5 precepts: Character, respect, dedication, etiquette, and self-control. I really put a lot of emphasis on developing as an individual in the class. The younger the children, the more important it is to set that foundation. If that foundation isn’t set, then everything after that is not gonna work out. When there’s a child that has a hard time with karate physically, maybe mentally, if they put their time and effort into the class and then succeed, it’s a priceless experience. That’s where self-confidence actually comes from, becoming better at things on your own. (James) I’ve been training for almost three years And both of my sons train with me. They started about four years ago It started when my oldest son had a bullying incident at school. We go to the competitions together, we practice kata together, it’s become a really big part of our lives. My youngest son, David, was diagnosed with autism when he was four. His motor skills develop a little bit more slowly and he lacks confidence in social things. Here he feels safe. He feels like he’s at home. (Hiroshi) I don’t treat David like he’s any different from any student. I’m just as hard, I expect just as much, and I push him like any other student. (James) He’s begun to get really confident and he’s begun to accept challenges. (Hiroshi) When I see how the other students group around him and motivate him and cheer for him, I know for a fact that he is having a better experience than any other sport could give him. (James) It really touches me to see that because he needs that. He needs people his age that are encouraging him and pushing him to keep going. (Hiroshi) Not only do I think it’s important for David, but I think it’s so important for the other teenagers to be able to empathize with students with difficulties. (James) Hiroshi is a man I have a lot of respect for. I consider him a role model not only about karate but about life in general. (Hiroshi) My end goal is to make better people and I think that’s where the business itself becomes important. I’m enriching their lives and giving them a sense of well-being, and if they bring that into their schools or their community, then I know that I’m doing what I was meant to do. This was my calling.