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The Martial Arts Industry Association's MASuccess Magazine exists to help grow martial arts participation by helping school owners succeed.

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Barry Guimbellot: Being Offered a School to Manage

mentor motivation Apr 20, 2021

by Herb Borkland

 

Barry Guimbellot received his first dan from Allen Steen in 1976 and in 2015 was promoted to 10th-degree by Steen, Pat Burleson and Keith Yates. A legendary school owner and director, Guimbellot first ran and then bought Steen’s Texas Karate Institute schools. Along with Walt Mason and later Dave Mason, Guimbellot continued to operate those schools until 2010. He also co-promoted the Southern Karate Championships for 37 years and the Big “D” National Karate Championships for 35 years. From 2008 to 2017, he served as President of the Amateur Organization of Karate.

 

MASuccess: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?

Barry Guimbellot: I was raised in Richardson, Texas. Dad began by inspecting airplanes and later worked as a salesman.

 

MAS: How did you first hear about martial arts?

BG: A high-school friend started taking karate from Allen Steen, and then my brother did, too. It was cool, but I never thought about it for...

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Richard M. Morris: A War-Hero Father

mentor motivation Feb 23, 2021

by Herb Borkland

 

As a 10th-degree black belt under Pat Burleson, Richard M. Morris is one of the seminal figures in the modern American martial arts. His longtime admirer Jhoon Rhee, before his death, officially entrusted the future of American taekwondo to Burleson and Morris. Morris retired in 2014 after nearly 36 years with the Fort Worth Police Department, where he was a living legend. He has not missed a week of martial arts training since 1971, and today he conducts seminars in his reality-based shizen-na karate (“natural way of fighting”) for police departments, federal law-enforcement agencies and the U.S. military. Morris is also the exclusive personal safety coach for the Zig Ziglar Corporation and a certified Ziglar legacy speaker, trainer and consultant. Currently, he is collaborating with Lt. Col. Dave Grossman on a book titled On Fighting.

 

MASuccess: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?

Richard Morris: I grew up in Fort Worth,...

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Pet Rocks

mentor motivation Feb 21, 2021

by Karen Eden

 

In 1975, a man named Gary Dahl decided to design the “perfect pet” as a joke after listening to friends complain about their real pets. It was a mere rock in a cardboard box. Little did Mr. Dahl know that in six months’ time, he would become a millionaire from of his over-the-top sense of humor.

I remember being in elementary school when my classmates began bringing their pet rocks to school. The “no pets allowed” rule was overridden by kids everywhere who would take out their rocks after finishing their classwork. They somehow took comfort in their own personal rocks being present with them, as they petted and coddled them before putting their beloved “pets” back in their crates.

Each pet rock came with an owner’s manual on how to care for the rock and even teach it tricks (of course, the rock just sat there, regardless). I can only imagine what a kid would think today if he or she opened a gift, only to find a...

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A Teacher’s Mindset

mentor motivation Feb 20, 2021

by Dave Kovar 

 

It has been my experience that you share with others what you most need to hear yourself. Today, I’m going to share with you what I call “teacher’s mindsets.” These are specific mindsets that I have made a conscious effort to adopt, especially when I’m interacting with students. Although I still have a long way to go, they have enabled me to make great strides with my students.

We all have a series of beliefs about how a classroom works and how we work within it. Unfortunately, most of us don’t consciously choose our mindsets. They come to us. We pick them up from the environment we were brought up in, the education we received and the experiences we’ve had.

Let’s imagine that in third grade, you ran a foot race with two kids from your class. Unbeknownst to you, these kids were the fastest sprinters in all of third grade. You gave it your best shot and still trailed behind them. Your perception of your...

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Caroline Goodspeed: No Turning Point

martial arts motivation Dec 29, 2020

by Herb Borkland

 

At ninth degree, Caroline Goodspeed is Keith Yates’ highest-ranked Black female grandmaster. Her martial arts career spans amateur boxing, aikido, goju karate, taekwondo and kobudo. She is especially proud of the girls, including her daughter, she has taken to black belt. Goodspeed also ranks among the most delightful personalities in the American martial arts.

 

MASuccess: Where did you grow up?

Caroline Goodspeed: I grew up in little Port Arthur, 83 miles southeast of Houston, Texas.

 

MAS: Do you remember the first time you heard about martial arts?

Goodspeed: I was a scrappy little girl — 5 feet 2 and 98 pounds — and when I was in my teens, I liked boxing with my amateur brother. It’s why I use my hands so much. When I was 19, this aikido instructor tried to recruit students. I told myself, “Here you go!” Lasted a year and a half. I got tired of being thrown to the ground by men.

After that, there was no more...

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Hangin’ Tough

martial arts motivation Dec 28, 2020

by Karen Eden

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt won his first term as president of the United States in 1932. The country was going through one of the roughest times in American history. It was FDR who was responsible for steering the U.S. not only through the Great Depression but through World War II, as well.

Life wasn’t going to cut this beloved president any breaks. By 1939, he was battling full-blown polio. It would take away the use of his legs and make him a paraplegic for the rest of his life.

I find it astounding to think that any human being would have the strength and courage to remain “leader of the free world” while battling paralysis. There was, of course, no cure for polio at the time. FDR found himself being dragged to various “health resorts” and to all kinds of unorthodox treatment centers, yet nothing could bring back the use of his legs. The thing is, he refused to be seen as an invalid in the public eye. Even though he was in a lot of...

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A Lifetime of Achievement: Cynthia Rothrock and Her Rough-and-Tumble Journey in the Martial Arts

by Terry L. Wilson

In the past four decades, Cynthia Rothrock has accomplished what many of us dream about but few of us achieve, and that is to nurture our traditional martial arts skills into an international career in fight films. Here’s a look back for those who are too young to have witnessed the rise of Rothrock.

 

Competition

Before she graced her first silver screen, young Cynthia Rothrock was a force to be reckoned with on the East Coast. She won numerous forms and sparring championships on the regional circuit, then graduated to the national scene, where she continued to dominate in weapons and kata. Known for blending disciplines — including tang soo do, taekwondo, eagle-claw kung fu, wushu and Shaolin kung fu — Rothrock used flashy moves that happened to catch the eye of a Chinese movie producer in 1983. Soon after, she found herself in Hong Kong starring in her first film.

It didn’t take long for the martial artist from Wilmington, Delaware,...

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The Mountain of Clothes

mentor motivation Oct 01, 2020

by Karen Eden

 

This is a true story about too much of a good thing. When Hurricane Katrina hit with such devastation, the entire nation would have to come to New Orleans’ rescue. I was just coming out of a TV contract and teaching martial arts through The Salvation Army. I was asked if I could help TSA by acting as the division’s Public Information Officer. No problem, since I knew most of the media members on a first-name basis anyway.

When the now-homeless victims of the hurricane were bused into Denver, they literally had no possessions to bring with them. They needed everything — from basics such as shampoo and toothpaste to food and especially clothes. I made the executive decision, along with the Corps Officer of the thrift-stores division, to put out a public plea for donated clothing items.

The city of Denver generously responded, like it so often does. Seventy-two hours later, I got a call from the officer: “Karen, you got to stop with the...

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3 Crucial Decisions You Need to Make

mentor motivation Oct 01, 2020

by Nguyen “Tom” Griggs

 

 

Hello, my friends. I hope you all are doing well and finding ways to successfully navigate these difficult times. In this column, I want to talk about three crucial decisions that leaders need to make to survive our current chaos.

I ask that you bear with me. The stories I will use involve airline crashes, and the details are not pleasant. However, all are relevant to the situation that now faces the martial arts community.

In 2015, Maria Murillo, 18, and her 1-year-old survived the crash of a small Cessna airplane in the Colombian jungles. They spent five days on the banks of a river, surviving on coconuts and collected rainwater. When they were found, rescuers were astounded to learn that despite having sustained burns and broken bones, the woman had been able to run from the burning plane while carrying her child.

Bahia Bakari, 14, was the sole survivor of a 2009 crash of an airliner that claimed the lives of 151 people. She spent...

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Kelly Cox: Following Keith Yate’s Example

mentor motivation Oct 01, 2020

by Herb Borkland

 

Although he’s acknowledged by his peers to be a ninth-degree grandmaster, Kelly Cox prefers not to use the title. Even more rare among notable American martial artists is that online searches for either Cox or his Rendokan Dojo return nothing. This lifelong student of karate and sword fighting inherited one of the first martial arts schools in the United States and has formed his life around its tradition of severe humility and a ceaseless work ethic. He is currently writing a book that explores the boundless wisdom of original scrolls from the 1800s that he inherited from Christine and Ken Carson, who founded Rendokan in 1946.

 

MASuccess: Where did you grow up, and what did your dad do?

Kelly Cox: I grew up on a farm in East Texas. Dad was a farmer. We toiled in the dirt. I grew up picking vegetables, riding horses and herding cattle.

 

MAS: How did you first hear about karate?

Cox: I was 9 years old, and I heard about it on Steve...

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