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ATA Chanhassen Family Martial Arts

On the topic of Leadership

Posted: October 01, 2018

My earlier years grinding it out feeling like a “slave to the corporate world” coupled with my seemingly endless quest for knowledge and personal improvement. I find it the topic of Leadership is easily one of the most overcrowded spaces on the continent yet new and recycled principles continue to emerge. In my time I have studied the modern-day pioneers such as Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earle Nightingale as well as the top leaders of business today, Simon Sinek, Angela Duckworth, Tony Robbins and Carol Dweck. In my recent re-reading of EntreLeadership, by Dave Ramsey, a book I read multiple times per year and reference often, a particular excerpt struck me as if I hadn’t read it all the other times before. Upon walking up to a company BBQ, Dave and his son noticed there were about 100 kids of whom were the children of those employed by Ramsey Solutions. Dave’s son who was younger at the time was embarrassed by the number of young kids then and asked his dad how long he would be required to stay.

That one time I tried to “QUIT” the martial arts business.

Posted: September 19, 2018

The one-year anniversary of me officially purchasing ATA Chanhassen is quickly approaching. So, this week I thought I would share a bit of the story about how it all came to be.

In 2007, I got the best job ever. I was teaching martial arts and getting paid for it. My life was made… right?

One small problem, I was young (and possibly naive), and my main hobby turned into my dream job. I never realized until later, but the minute I took that job, despite all my wants and desires to be a “success” in the martial arts world. I immediately lost all ambition. Many people work their whole lives and still don’t know what they want to do when they “grow up”. For me, I had achieved what so few do and much too soon.

Mindful Tips to Use When Kids Don’t Want to Attend Class

Posted: September 11, 2018


One great thing about the martial arts industry is the ocean of amazingly creative and inspirational people it creates and attracts. My great friend and colleague, Ryan Johnson uses these helpful tips in his academy, Johnson’s ATA in Sioux City, IA. He’s graciously allowed me to both steal them for use in our academy and share them with our loyal parents and readers.

Ryan is not only a Master Instructor in Taekwondo and teaches Brazilian Ju Jitsu, but also one of the foremost experts and speakers on the topic of bullying. He is the author of “Bully-ology”; How to use Martial Arts to Stand Up for Yourself, Defeat Bullies and Show the World What You Can Do. Get it on Amazon for just, $3.60!

You don't have to be great to start...

Posted: September 06, 2018

For many families, this time of year brings hope for change. A new school year or brand-new school, bright and shiny new clothes and new activities, which means new goals to create and habits we wish to accomplish. Though they promised you they would stick with it this time, the sad reality is, a few short days, weeks or at best a couple months later, buyer’s remorse sets in and you’re left with that brand new trumpet collecting dust in the corner, those expensive gotta-have-name-brand soccer cleats are now hanging in the mudroom without any grass stains, and all that unused football equipment left a big dent in your wallet. And now those new “goals” are replaced by excuses like, “I don’t wanna go”, “my band teacher is too mean”, “the coach doesn’t like me”, “I don’t like getting tackled”, and so forth. A lot of times the main underlying issue with kids sports and activities, is it’s hard for them to realize all the work that’s going to be involved. Nobody was a world class musician from birth, being a fan of the world cup doesn’t instantly make you a great soccer player (nor give you the right to wear a man bun), and the best wide receivers aren’t the ones with the best hands or vertical leap in their rookie seasons, but the ones who learn to focus on where the ball is going. You’ll need to play the long game.

The power of Discipline

Posted: August 14, 2018

Okay, I admit it. In my younger years as an instructor, I was the happy go lucky type. Not a lot bothered me. If a student didn’t “answer up” loudly or even at all, I’d let it go. If a kid didn’t have his toes fully touching while standing at attention or was even a little wiggly, I didn’t mind. Today, I’m still “fairly” happy go lucky, but I nip the former in the bud a little bit more. Keep reading, you'll find out why.

I think what changed for me was likely equal parts becoming a parent and understanding what some of the adult members and parents of younger students were feeling. What’s more, I was starting to notice the ones that were getting away with a low level of respect and discipline in the past, were now the more senior students that were leading and influencing the culture of our school. We needed some changes.

I still don’t think I’m a disciplinarian like some of the forefathers of Taekwondo were, but I sure don’t have a problem digging in to a kid a little bit more these days (especially if I know the parent is appreciative and supportive). I remember having a profound moment a few years back when we had a younger black belt student who at the time was about 13. He had a good amount of natural talent and wasn’t fully putting in the effort he usually did. That particular day he was trying really hard to be funny, making jokes with others and making excuses about why he wasn’t taking things as seriously.

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