Old dogs… I’ve been called an “Old Dog” on a couple of occasions (and I’ve been called worse)….
At my age (60) being referred to as an old dog is a double edge sword. The term ‘Old Dog” can mean someone of experience, knowledge and wisdom which feels kind of cool. Maybe all those years weren’t wasted and now I’m a veteran and I know all the tricks.
Or it can have another meaning. It can mean that I’m too damn old to change or, too hard headed to embrace new ideas or systems. It can mean that I’m too old to learn new tricks.
In my case both definitions are correct. Let me explain:
The first part of my martial arts career I was focused first on competition and growing my organization.
I was successful at both (10-0 as a PKA kickboxer by golly!) and I built the biggest organization this state has ever seen (OK, it’s just Wisconsin, but we had 20+ schools…).
By the measurement of times I was successful. Very successful.
But times change and sometimes people don’t. I didn’t. I stayed on the “more is better” path. More students, more upgrades, more cash-outs, more schools, more fee’s for the students, more marketing more staff, more overhead. More, more, more.
I was successful, but I hated it. So I sold the schools and closed the organization.
But in my “new” career, I’ve dedicated myself to finding and sharing the ways and means to balance success and personal goals; learning to learn to “play to your strengths” and follow your heart. And the journey has been truly amazing.
The best part of this journey is meeting the “new breed” that is now leading the charge in the martial arts world; the new leaders of this profession. Owners like John Cassidy, Brannon Beliso, Greg Horton, Korbett Miller, Dave Wheaton and Melodee Meyer.
Add to that the support systems from people like Roland Osborne, Melody Shuman, the team at Rainmaker, 97 Display and Dojo Muscle and you have a group of people leading the martial arts in an exciting and powerful new way. I am proud to say I’m working with these people.
So in my new (and last) career I’m going to continue to work my butt off to be of service to the martial arts community, supporting these new leaders, finding even more liked minded people, and providing a platform and support for the future of martial arts.
My hope is that, in some small way, I can do my part to contribute to the positive growth of martial arts and the school owners who work so hard to provide training for their students.
There has never been a better, more exciting time to be in the martial arts profession.
I can’t wait to see what is coming around the corner!