Monday, January 8, 2018

Sabotaged From The Beginning

      Sensei Green of Green's Karate was just trying to get started in Chattanooga, TN.  There was a gym on a main section of town and another gym up the road from the first gym.  Both gyms had two completely different environments.  One gym was owned by a very nice lady that was heavily into fitness and helping clients and the other, Green had never met.

      Green set out wanting to make an impact in the area. He went to the first gym and asked the owner if she would consider having him teach karate lessons in her gym. The owner was definitely interested, but there was another exercise program that was great for children and teens as well.

      What this program did was it whipped children into shape like a professional would do in training for any pro team of nearly any sport.  The idea behind this exercise program was genius and effective.  The founder of this program eventually sold this program to the female gym owner.  This was the make or break deal for Green.  She had to decide at the time to incorporate martial arts into her gym or this exercise program.  She decided do the latter.  This didn't phase Green though, he said to her "Maybe one day we can work together down the road."  She said "Maybe" and Green left it at that.
(This is important to remember because this situation will come up in a later blog.)

      Green then went ahead and set up shop in the other gym and it was a very nice and big gym. There were two levels. The main floor was nearly wide open and had lots of gym equipment from the 80's and 90's surrounding the area.  There was exercise equipment on the second level and the second level wasn't all that big.  It wrapped around the back of the gym and there was only about 15 feet of space on the top floor that overlooked the bottom floor. 

      The whole gym was around 5,000 square feet.  The front desk was set up to where you walked in the main elongated desk that was about 3 feet deep and had and broken "L" shape to the design.  You could walk around behind it.  Not far from the front desk was two small offices.  One was used as a storage closet while the other was used for another purpose.

      Green secured the location, but not an office to offer his signups out of.  The two gentlemen in their twenties as Green was in the same age bracket, ran the whole gym operation without the boss ever walking into the establishment.  They had their own game plan about how to recruit customers and so did Green.

      Green went to the local Kinkos print store, now called FedEx.  He took nearly all the cash he had and went and made 10,000 flyers.  Once the flyers were made, Green decided that he was going to do whatever it took to get the flyers out and he went up and down the street, went downtown, put the flyers on bulletin boards and even went to parking lots.  When he went to the Walmart parking lot and put them on car windows, a manager came out and told him that he would have to take every single flyer off of the cars or he would prosecuted for each flyer.  Back in that day and still now, businesses are very strict about where you can and cannot advertise your business.

      Green got this idea of advertising from running his original school back in Alaska.  The strategy worked very well and ushered him plenty of customers, at the time.  Green realized he wasn't in Alaska anymore and he would have to find other ways of getting the word out.  For a while there it was tough, but Green was able to distribute all of the flyers to everyone he saw.  He spent two months of working hard each day to get out as many flyers as possible to create interest and excitement.

      The result: One student.  Green paid over $1,000 in flyers to gain only "one" student.  This student was honored at Greens karate tournament called the "Chattanooga Karate Classic" that was held for it's 5 consecutive year at Lookout Valley High school.  One student, Green couldn't believe it.  Most people would have gave up right there, but not Green.  Green used this situation as motivation for him to succeed.  He had it within himself to want to do better.  To do more and become something that he was destined to be.  The students name is Aaron Massingill.  Green saw Aaron at a network marketing group he has been part of.  When it was time for Aaron to talk about his business, Aaron told everyone exactly what you are reading right here, that Aaron was Green's first student. 

      Green went back to the gym and asked the other two gym employees if he could clean out the small office used for storage as an office.  All men agreed that it would be a good idea,  seeing that Green distributed all of the flyers, so people were all going to come flooding in sooner or later.  Green got to work and make the office very nice and cozy.  Green continued to train Aaron in the meantime.

      As the days past, no one was calling the number or coming by asking about the classes.  Green put a banner by the road to gather more attention to his location and within 3 days the "sign police," from the city of Chattanooga came by and told Green to take his banner down because he wasn't authorized to advertise his business, even though it was a 3' X 5' banner and it wasn't obstructing anyone's view of anything.

      One day, Green was inside the gym and he noticed that he was getting people putting down their name on the guest register by the front door.  This was great news!  Green had been patiently waiting for people to come in and there was names finally on his list!  Green started to go down the list of names of people and started to call the names on the list.  No one answered any of his calls and some were wrong numbers and some rang and rang.

      There was one name that started off kind of different and Green decided to call the person.  Green dialed the number and someone answered Green said "the gentlemen's first name" and the person on the other end said "You got the wrong number."  Green called again the same number thinking he had miss dialed.  (Green was calling from a landline number and had not picked up his new cell phone from Sam's club, as mentioned in the blog "First Newspaper Article In Chattanooga About Green's Karate)."   Green dialed again and asked for the same person and the man on the receiving end said "Dude, you have the wrong number!" Green apologized for making a mistake and before he finished apologizing the phone was already hung up. 

     Green looked perplexed and started to view the names closer on the list and realized something he had somehow missed.  He noticed that most of the names were made up and the owners name was put down as another name that is highly inappropriate to say in this blog.  It was one of those "clever" names like "Ben Dover," but much more creatively disgusting.  This was something that Green had never even imagined would happen.  Maybe it was fun and games for the employees, but Green realized that he had been sabotaged from the beginning from people that appeared to be welcoming. 

     While this whole situation was starting to transpire he had just been informed, that his office, that he organized and cleaned was being taken over by the two gym employees.  You see, Green was naive and gullible in the beginning to the point of a fault.  He never would have guessed that people like these two employees would be so cruel and mean. 

      A fire that Green hadn't felt inside him in a long time started to burn again and now he was on fire.  Green spoke with a fellow fitness instructor about the incident as it was unfolding and confided in her telling what was happening.  (12 years later Green talked to her later on saying that the encouraging words that she had said was very important to him). 

     The moral of this blog is that when people put you down, stomp on your dreams, belittle you, don't believe in you and are just plain mean.  All you have is yourself and yourself alone.  A person that you don't know from Adam, can make the world of difference in the outcome of your life.  Having someone to listen to you at the right time and encourages you, can go a long way and change the direction you take in your life.  Do not let people like this bring you down but instead, lift you up in life.  You are better than that and do not ever forget this. Be that person, like the fitness instructor that listened and helped Green by just being there for someone is so important.  You never know the impact you make on peoples lives until they come back and tell you what you did for them. 

     While Green was at his house, he called the YMCA and set up a meeting.  You can read what happens next in the blog mentioned above. 

     You never know where the road will lead you.  You have to dig down deep and work hard if you want to achieve anything in this life.  On one of the back of one of the save flyers was the message below.  It will be uploaded at a later day as proof.   Until then read the message below and think about it!
      Thanks for reading! Please share this story and inspire others to not give up on their dreams no matter what happens. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Black belt Challenges An Orange Belt To Spar (circa 2004)

     Over the years there has been several challenges from outside (not part of our style or school) martial artists to test their skills against our karate students. Although these challenges are rare in occurance, they still do happen from time to time including the latest as soon as 2017.   When these occasions arise,  we take caution in ensuring that everything is safely handled.  Usually the challenge is a kumite or sparring challenge.

    The setting is the summer of 2004 and the dojo classes were barely a year into existence in the basement of the YMCA two levels below ground.  In the fall of 2003, after the newspaper article previously mentioned, a father and son started training with Sensei Green.  The son who started at age nine was around age nine and a half when this challenge was initiated by a commercialized martial arts school black belt that was 11.  She, yes she was very confident that she could defeat our student, Cameron, in a sparring match.

    When the father and son started training, they quickly advanced to their yellow belt.  When they earned their yellow, they went on and earned their next belt which was orange four months later. The father and son duo had a good amount of semi-private lessons while training with Green. The father trained with the son and they would spar together and regularly.  The father, who is a former Marine of 15 years would often work hard to build his son's confidence up and did a great job at keeping him humble but, also very disciplined in his martial arts studies.

    Green was training Cameron in the summer camp along with the other 120 children in martial arts at the YMCA camp.  Cameron was a dedicated student who practiced diligently and the best he could.  This type of martial arts character is harder to find than you might imagine nowadays.  The challenge by the girl was unexpected at the time because Green didn't think anything of it and had not idea any of the children had any martial arts training.

     What followed was the "challenge" transaction with Green. The eleven year old girl comes up to Green after a class and asks "Can I spar Cameron?" She was targeting the best child student we had at the time thinking that she could take him on, no problem. Green quickly replied "Don't ask me, ask Cameron!"  The girl then turned to Cameron who was standing near by and she said "Cameron, do you want to spar?"  Cameron quipped "Sure" while shrugging his shoulders as it didn't seem to bother Cameron at all. Green told both of them that they would spar tomorrow as class was already over.  Green turned to the girl and explained the rules to the girl, who was a Tae Kwon Do practitioner for 3 years versus our student of nine months of Karate.  She quickly disregarded what Green was telling her as not all that important.  Green told them both that they would both spar tomorrow and to bring their sparring gear.

     As the next day approached, Green eagerly awaited for what was going to transpire and felt good that Cameron would be able to do well in this situation due to all the training Green had poured into him and his dad.  Both students arrived for the regularly scheduled class of karate training.  At nearly the end of the class, Green had both students gear up (independently) while finishing out the regular training session with the rest of the kids.  Green went ahead and explain the differences within the rules between Karate and Tae Kwon Do kumite/sparring.

     The girl was dismissive of Green's explanation of the rules and asked "Can we just get started?"  Green then quickly replied "Sure."  Green made sure both competitors had their mouthpieces and other necessary protective gear for maximum safety.  Twenty five campers of the "Y" were on the outside perimeter of the mat as a traditional karate kumite match would occur.  Green lined up the students in their respective places and said "Rei"  Both students bowed in their own style of martial art.  Then Green, said with a commanding voice "Hijime" (Go or Start) then both students took one step back and then engaged into the kumite match.

     The girl tried 35 consecutive attempts to make contact with Cameron in any legal target areas.  She punched and kicked and was unsuccessful on landing any move on Cameron.  Cameron was blocking every technique that was being thrown at him.  This transpired over 30 seconds or so.

     Green stopped the match due to Cameron's lack of offensive retaliation and counter measures.  Green yelled "Yame" (Stop) and sliced the air downward with his right hand as a karate referee would do while in a front stance (semi deep stance with the front knee bent and back leg locked out.)  He turned to Cameron and commanded "Cameron, how come you are not punching and kicking back?"  Cameron replied "Sensei, because she is a girl."  Green then ordered "Cameron, would you just spar her!"  Cameron then acknowledged by saying "Oss." (Oss mean's yes sir.) 

     Green had the students get back to their starting line and then yelled "Hijime!"  Both students did their adjustments of each others distance and then Cameron saw an opening.  Cameron went towards her and unleashed upon her many extremely quick punching and kicking combinations in rapid fire that he return all of her amount of actions in a fraction of the time it took her to perform them.  In the matter of only 6-8 seconds, Cameron had overwhelmed her to the point to where she said "Stop, stop, stop" 3 times in about 2 seconds.  She had put her arms up in a non-martial arts way as if she had no training at all.  Her reaction was her turning her head and being completely defenseless in defending herself.  Green recognized this lack of defend compounded by her verbal cues and Green belted out "Yame!"

     The room was quiet for a moment until one child said "Tae Kwon Do sucks"  Green quickly asserted "Do not say that!"  However, the evidence was now shown, that with the variables at hand, the challenger felt foolish for even thinking of asserting such a challenge in a traditional karate school.  She was extremely embarrassed and rightfully so. One would wonder where this now, 25 year old woman is now in her life.  Did her life take a much more positive turn from this learning experience or did she just sum this up as Cameron getting lucky that he caught her not on her best day.  Hopefully the first assumption is what occurred.

     This story, which is a non-fictional story, has been told several times in the Green's Karate dojo as a way to have students understand several circumstances and situations to learn from.

     One, do not ever go to a martial arts school and challenge anyone to spar.  You not only make yourself look bad but also your martial arts school.  Two, do not under estimate anyone, ever, in what they are capable of doing.  Three, show good manners even when someone is foolish in their endeavors.  Four, always think that there is someone better.  This keeps you humble and this will help you in the long run in life.  Five, always show respect one another and never think you are better than anyone else.

     This is not the last time students of Green's Karate students have been challenged.  The next  challenge happened only one year later between another black belt who was a 3rd degree black belt versus a Green belt. (Green belt is half way to black belt.)  This particular story will be told but will have to be told at another time.  In case you are wondering,  yes, this black belt was from the same martial arts school in this story and no they were not from a school named Cobra Kai, but close enough. The latest challenge was less than one year ago and yes, from the same martial arts school, again.  However, the challenger, who is also a 3rd degree black belt didn't spar our best students, and the circumstances mentioned very briefly above didn't go down the same way as the story that we will tell. In fact, he is to come back to face our best students one day.

The overall outcomes in our 20 year history, we have never lost a challenge and don't ever intend to.  Lastly,  when a challenger does come again, Sensei Green prefers to tell them "We have been waiting for you!"  This always invokes an interesting response.

Cameron eventually grew up and became a Marine, just like his father.  Thank you Cameron for your dedication in karate. You made us proud!  You were incredible then as well as now!  Thank You for your service!  There are several more stories about Cameron's karate adventures and we will share those at a later date.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

*New, First USA Karate magazine article about Ryan Rogers and Green's Karate

    (While we blogged yesterday, this article came out.  Coincidence?  We think not!) 

    This blog is a great introduction into the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G story about Ryan Rogers.  Ryan is an incredible athlete of karate but more so, he is a very humble man with great character.  If you read the last blog posted you might have heard an undertone of greatness.  We weren't fibbing or trying to sound boastful.  However, sometimes you have to claim that you are good at something before someone believes you. The stories you will read in this blog will give you the understanding the Green's Karate and it's instructors are truly some of the best in the business!

    Often times, when students train, we ask them a question once they have earned a few belts. If you wait to long to ask this question then, you could be creating a monster of sorts.  A teenager with a chip on the shoulder is the last type of student you want to raise in the dojo.  This chip is often found outside the dojo with teens that do not train in martial arts.  The idea is to curb the flawed character trait and to bring enlightenment to the mind and spirit of the student. You want the student to not only to be successful in martial arts but, much more so in life.  Children have often said in class "Karate is hard!"  Our response is normally, "You think karate is hard, life is much harder!"

    We have always prepared the mind of the student and to prepare them to "think" on a different level.  We wait for the special moment and ask this important question. "If you were a black belt and someone came up to you knowing you were a black belt and asked if you were good, what would you say?"   There are few correct answers and there are many more wrong answers.  This will give us an indication of where their attitude is at, their level of humbleness, and their character as a person.

     We have never been the martial arts school that produces black belts like a factory.  In fact, we are the exact opposite.  We do not want to have thousands of black belts with mediocre abilities that think they are great and cannot defend themselves out of a wet paper bag and even worse, have a false sense of confidence and false sense of accomplishment.  In order to earn a black belt, you have to perform your test in front of the 1968 World Champion and 9th degree black belt Sensei Katsutaka Tanaka and Sensei Green.  This is to make sure the student is up to the world standard.  Our reputation is on the line and by seeing the high level of standards we set you can see why we our students have went on to do incredible things and even make it into "the" Olympic karate magazine for ultimate success.

     It is very dangerous to go out into the world with a chip on your shoulder thinking you are better than others when you really only demonstrate that you are an overconfident jerk that shows off their martial arts skills to influence others and maybe even to pick up girls like Johnny off of the original karate kid did.  There was a reason for the Cobra Kai to exist in the film because it was highlighting the mentality of many martial arts schools back then and even today.  One day Sensei Green had a customer come in and ask "Are you guys a Cobra Kai dojo or a Miyagi dojo?"  Without hesitation, Sensei Green quipped "Miyagi dojo, hands down!" 

     So when someone asks if you are good the wrong answers are the following:  "Oh, yeah I'm good" (While you breathe into your hand and brush your shirt with the cupping of your hand) or "Yes" is one of the worst answers you can possibly give.  Another bad answer is "No, I am not good."  By boasting or not acknowledging that you have skills to protect yourself shows your over confidence or lack of confidence.

    The appropriate answer to the is question is one of these two answers.  First, you could say "I am okay, I am alright" or "I am confident with my abilities."  The reason to bring this up is to imply that Ryan Rogers would say exactly what is mentioned here.  Ryan is one of the most humblest people you could ever meet!  He will give his shirt off his back to you, he is very down to earth, he works hard, he is a super nice guy, and he doesn't give up.  These traits are the characteristics of a true champion!  Currently he has the eye of the tiger and the heart of a lion.  Nothing can stop Ryan from being a world champion!

    A person that has this caliber of character, can be anything they want to be in life!  In order to be successful in life you have to possess good manners, respect, self-discipline and have good character.  Ryan encapsulates those traits to a "T" and this is what makes him a great person!

    Several years ago, in 2012, when Ryan was starting to make U.S. Karate history on his first attempt at the U.S. Karate Nationals, we didn't officially know he was making history (we did have a clue though) and did so three times at his first U.S. Karate Nationals.  You see, Ryan wasn't diagnosed with autism until late 2013 and at that point, he had made U.S. Karate history five times. When Ryan became diagnosed with high functioning autism, all of his historical moments became recognized posthumously.

    Ryan's journey of becoming an international superstar in the karate world is only beginning.  He has his sights currently set on the U.S. Open and hopefully and lord willing, to be able to compete with the U.S. Team again in Spain at the Karate World Championships in late October, early November 2018.  His focus is doing his best and to win it all!

     We will write a four or five part blog series on Ryan as well as make several You Tube videos separate and also coordinated in regarding his successes and breaking through barriers, as he has for those on the spectrum.  We salute Ryan on a job well done and look forward to his future successes in this wonderful sport of Olympic karate!  The world will see Olympic Karate for their first time in Tokyo in 2020! 

      Without further ado, here is the article that features our very own Ryan Rogers!  Cheers to you Ryan!  We are so proud of you and what you have done and what you are doing.  You will inspire millions like Sensei Green told you back in 2012.  This is now only the beginning of this process!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

First Newspaper Article in Chattanooga About Green's Karate

     When Green arrived to Chattanooga, the date was September 10, 2002.  He had already had a lot of experience teaching karate in Alaska (more on that story, at a later date) and had 7,000 classes under his belt, pun intended.  Green didn't immediately open his karate school but instead had spent time in the Army as a helicopter mechanic and crew chief.  After being honorably discharged from the Army, he started his life over.  The Army had shipped Green's 4,000 lbs of equipment to Chattanooga and when it arrived, Green put it all in storage.

     Green first stayed with his oldest brother who was married and just had a child.  It was a rough few months.  Then another brother of Green decided with Green to move in together to a house in Ooltewah.  Green then got a regular serving job and worked at the local Logan's restaurant at night and worked with his brother in the day (brother he moved into house with) as a laborer doing construction.

     Green had tried to get his school going on February 11, 2003 but hit a snag.  This story of what happened is shared in the blog "Sabotaged In The Beginning." This blog has not been released yet.
Once Green overcame that situation, he moved onto the downtown YMCA.

     Green had an appointment with the Downtown YMCA. He had a meeting with one of the administrators about the possibilities of having a class at the location.  Once Green mentioned that he had some experience with working with those with special needs, automatically the administrator wanted Green to start right away.  Green's Karate school started sometime in April 2003.

     The next question asked to Green by the administrator would have a big change of the outcome of Green's financial future. The question was "Do you want to put on payroll or do you want to do this on your own?" Green chose the latter and started moving in the equipment to the very bottom floor of the Y, into a room that is about 800 square feet.  This location was two levels below ground and there were no windows.  Right above the dojo is the women's locker room.  Green would later learn this because of a leaky roof, drainage from the showers and one of the maintenance workers told him of this.

Green came to the agreement that he would receive a huge discount on the rent as long as he taught the Y's summer camp students for free.  This would include teaching 80 children (In 2003), 5 days a week, 3 hours per day in classes of about 20 children in each class for the summer or three months.  Some of the participants were special needs and Green taught them in their own class with plenty of camp counselors assisting.  This class was called the "Sunshine Class."

Green was restricted to only be able to teach his own classes to 3 days per week, in the beginning, as a sort of probationary period.  After a couple of months getting going, Green was allowed to open up his schedule to whenever he wanted to teach classes.

The camp classes and the dojo was a huge success from the beginning.  Advertising for these classes was allowed on the main floor of the "Y."  A small table with flyers and a guest register made it possible for Green to be able to sign people up. There was not a phone for Green however although all of the "Y" had wired in a phone system to go throughout the "Y."  The concept of having a cell phone for business was not common at all.

Green went to the local Sam's Club where cell phones were being sold and he was able to get a cell phone set up with about 800 minutes.  When he came back to the Y with his new flip cell phone, people were shocked that he had a cell for business purposes. There was actual people that thought this was strange. Also, the business phone number was changed recently to 423-405-DOJO (3656) as the new business number while the old business number was in existence up until a few months ago.

Word spread of a karate teacher that could teach people with special needs, karate, to the point the local news paper (The Times Free Press) wanted to conduct an interview.  Green remembers this day very clearly as something that has never happened since it occurred was when an assistant to the writer was walking with Green in the "Y" to the room where he taught classes.  While Green and the assistant were walking, the assistant stopped Green from walking any further towards the dojo and stopped at the top of the last stairwell before descending to the location of the dojo.  She turned to Green and said "Can you REALLY teach people with special needs?"  Green then reassured the assistant that he could.  They continued to walk down to the empty dojo while waiting for the class to come in.

The special needs students filed into the room with the camp counselors in tow and Green started the class.  Green then did what he always has done and started teaching the children in the class as he normally would.  Here is the article of that inspiration day:

 Connecting with Karate: Children with Autism "Seem" To Thrive in Karate Classes
"Karate can be therapy for children with autism" said Green age 25

Green had stumbled upon his "Karate Wise Therapy" at the young age of 25.  Fast forward 15 years and what Green said 15 years ago is simply an understatement.  Green knows that his traditional karate program "is" a therapy for children with autism and other needs. Green now has it perfected down to a science, literally.  Maybe Green was one of the first in the world to discover the amazing benefits of martial arts to those with special needs?  In those 15 years, Green who is now 40, has students that have made U.S. Karate history 15 times in only a 10 year span. (More on this in a later blog!)  

Green found his calling at a very young age and often deflects his success back onto his students because without them, he wouldn't be able to do what he does for them.  There are so many therapeutic aspects to people with special needs.  Green is one of the foremost experts in the world on this topic.  Keep reading "this" blog and you will discover and understand "why" Green is one of the leading experts in teaching those with special needs, karate. 

Although Green specializes with those with special needs, this doesn't mean he does not teach those without special needs.  In fact, the ratio that Green prefers to teach in is a 70/30 ratio.  If 70% do not have special needs and 30% do then, the students with needs will have an appropriate model to view and copy from.  If the ratio is 50/50, then he has to teach one group faster than another and this makes teaching difficult.

Being pigeonholed is something that Green has tried to not allow happen. He has worked with hundreds (if not already in the thousands) with special needs, so therefore this is what has happened.  And you know what, this isn't a bad thing. This actually could be one of the best things for Green's Karate and for the rest of the world.  To have someone to truly understand the mind, body and spirit of those with special needs and how to unlock their potential is exactly what the world needs right now! 

Here is one way to look at this, If Sensei Green and his instructors can build people up with special needs to a point where many cannot tell they "do not" have noticeable signs of their special needs. Then, what can they (Green's Karate) do for those that do not have any special needs?

Another example is if people with special needs could win in major/highly skilled traditional karate competitions against those that have no disabilities then, what does this say about those that have no disabilities?  What is their excuse for not being at their very best, nearly all the time?  Exactly, there is no excuse.  It could just simply be laziness.  Always remember that laziness is the habit of resting before you get tired!

Today, you will find more children than not, that are lazy, uncoordinated, entitled, uncaring and spoiled. Why are we doing this to the children of the future?  What point are we trying to make?
If people with special needs are able to great and wonderful things, then anyone can do great and wonderful things. It all comes down to if you want to pay the price.

In closing, more people than not, that have a disability, are more willing to go further, work harder, and have more resilience than people with no disabilities.  All you have to do is give them a chance, give them direction, some encouragement, and watch what they can do.  People with disabilities are amazing people once you "get to know them."   

Friday, December 29, 2017

Sensei Green's first students, Octavian and Andreas Mosesian!

     Before Sensei Green opened his first karate school on January 17, 1998, he was an instructor for another martial arts school.  This is where he met Octavian and Andreas Mosesian.  The two boys are brothers and not by birth, they were both adopted.  Octavian and his brother were born in Romania.  They were brought to the states by a wonderful family.

     Andreas was a typical little boy.  Full of energy and very focused on his training.  Octavian was not much different in that respect except for a couple of very important factors. Octavian was born with only one arm and one leg.  Green, who wasn't a Sensei at the time was told by his instructor to teach both boys and focus mainly on Octavian because he would need the individual attention due to him missing his right arm and most of his left leg.  Octavian was 6 and Andreas 7 when they started their martial arts training.  

Green remembers saying "Are you serious," he is missing an arm and a leg!  How do you expect me to teach him?"  His instructor said "Figure it out!"  Green then said "Okay, I will teach him!"  Fortunately, Green had a lot of patience with the little boy and would work with him, teaching him the kata and combinations to for him to earn his first belt. Octavian had prosthetic's for his missing arm and leg. 

Octavian, just hanging out! 

                                                                              Octavian, as cool as can be! 

Green did exactly what he was told and he taught Octavian all the way to his first belt, yellow.  His brother Andreas earned his yellow belt as well.  At this point in time, Green went off and opened a brand new martial arts school for his instructor in another city. Green lost contact with Octavian for the next 12 years until Octavian Googled his name and found that Green was talking about him being his first student this entire time. Green and Octavian as well as his brother Andreas haven't seen each
other since the spring of 1997. 

Octavian stands by a Lamborghini Gallardo! 

When Green finally spoke with Octavian and Andreas via email and Facebook, Green learned that Andreas had served in the U.S. Navy and then become a professional fire breather, and has impressed many with his A-M-A-Z-I-N-G abilities in the the art of fire breathing.  (Do Not Try This At Home Kids!)  He even successfully completed an amazing feat while the Guinness Book of World Records were present but they didn't see what he did would qualify in their record books but all the peers in his world did!  Maybe, one day, Guinness can come back to see Andreas perform his "world class" performance again to ensure that what he did was truly a feat that is for the record books.  Andreas continues to raise the bar in his profession and has and will inspire millions with his amazing talents. 

Thank you so much for your service Andreas!  We are so proud of you!  

 Here is Andreas wowing the crowds as only someone with his talent can! 

This is one of Green's favorite pictures of Andreas! 

Both boys, now men, went through high school and graduated. Octavian went off to college to further his education.  Octavian he has pushed the bar, like Andreas, to what is undeniably and equally inspiring.  Octavian earned his master degree in Political Science at the University of Dallas, Texas in 2016! Who would have knew a boy with only an arm and leg would accomplish this in his future?  Adversity is an understatement about what he had experienced.  He overcame so many obstacles!  

Way to go Octavian! You did it! 

This goes to show you never know how someone might end up and how you can be an influence on their life and vice versa.  Octavian and Andreas are two incredible men that have became both two incredibly different people in life but are both successful in their lives nonetheless.   Cheers to both of you for your grit, determination, perseverance, focus, and most of all being YOU! You are both an inspiration to the world!  
Octavian smiling as he should for what he has accomplished! 

As this blog comes to a close, you can hopefully see that this journey of Green and his incredible students is just getting started.  Stay tuned for more inspiring stories!  Remember, you never how someone will turn out!  Hopefully you can be the positive light in the person's life that sparks (Andreas lol!) someone's fire inside them to help them pursue what they were meant to be. 
Green cannot wait for the day to come where he can finally be reunited to the very first two students he ever taught.  Maybe that day will come sooner rather than later.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

How Green's Karate was started on January 17th 1998!

Nineteen years, eleven months and twenty days ago, Sensei Green went to the bank to see about getting a loan for his new business. He was told that he could not receive a loan because he didn’t have a business. Sensei Green then asked what would he have to do to receive a loan and the bank said they he would need to try to qualify for a signature loan. Sensei Green then responded “What’s that?” The banker official then said “It is like if you were going on vacation.” Sensei Green then replied “Well, I am on vacation then!” The bank official then said “Here you go!” Sensei Green took the $1,500.00 and purchased a sign for the road for $300, paid for the rental space ($718.00 to have class out of a gym 5 days a week, paid for an office space in the same building to sign people up ($200.00) and paid for insurance for the dojo which was a little over $200.00. In two weeks, he made $3,000.00.

Sensei Green then realized what being a entrepreneur was all about. It wasn't ever about money for Sensei Green however what he felt for the first time was freedom. Sensei Green went back to the bank, paid them off and the rest is history literally. Below is more of the story and the pictures to show the very beginning of the journey of Green's Karate (GK).

Without taking the financial risk, GK wouldn’t be known for whom we are today!

GK is a prominent martial arts school not only in the heart of Chattanooga, more so a more well known and recognized martial arts school "outside" of Chattanooga. Olympic Karate schools from New York to California to Florida and Chicago know of Sensei Green’s passion for teaching those with special needs and everyone else that is willing to learn.
One of the main ideas of GK was to teach those with special needs alongside those without needs. He has been teaching those with special needs for 20 years (as a footnote: Sensei Green taught before he opened GK) and has the first American with autism to ever win a medal in International Competition. This man, Ryan Rogers is also the first American with autism on the U.S. Karate Team. Rogers is on the U.S. Para Karate Team and is the first person from Chattanooga on the U.S. Karate Team!
People along the way inspired Green to do what he does and his unique upbringing was key to his ultimate success in the Olympic Karate world. You won’t find Sensei Green discussing this information with anyone in casual conversation. In only one month from today, the world is really going to know who Sensei Green is. On the 20th anniversary of GK, Sensei Green’s second book (Finding Karate, Amazon, 2013) Karate Wise will change the world and will teach people how to teach others with specials needs how to defend themselves. The reference manual, Karate Wise, has over one thousand pictures, fifty thousand words and is over three hundred pages. You will find "Karate Wise" on
About the pictures: The patch was the original design of the Green’s Karate logo that Sensei Green designed on a students computer in 10 minutes. Since then, the logo has only had one change and was designed by Sensei Green’s multi-talented wife, Michelle Young. The empty gym room is the exact room that was leased for the amount mentioned above. The students picture were the original students to partake in GK's classes. You see a young Sensei Green teaching outdoor classes to a small group of students.
GK will not have classes on Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 and will instead have a celebration of success that has encapsulated many great memories, great performances in competition, the lives that have been saved through the self-defense techniques taught and in remembrance of the students that once trained and have moved onto the next life.
This celebration is dedicated to the passing of Darby Rouswell (29), Henry Babcock (22), Danny Cunningham (52), David Leach (15), Joesph Kershaw (39), Greg Kohn (44), Robbie Saxton (11), Warren Statts (17) and Josh Girves (17). Without these students in Sensei Green’s life, they wouldn’t have made the impact they did on him. May they all rest in peace.
Please come to the dojo from 4p.m. to 8p.m on Wednesday January 17, 2018 for our celebration. We will have a slideshow showing many pictures over the years! You are welcome to bring your own non-alcoholic drink. There will be some refreshments and horderves. Thank you for coming to this excellent time in history for Green’s Karate! See you there!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

7 USA-N.K.F. National Championships

Since 2006, my students and I have competed in the USA-N.K.F. (USA National Karate-Do Federation) Karate Nationals 7 times.  We competed in 2006 - 2010 and in 2012 and 2013.  We skipped 2011 and this year (2014) due to the location (west coast or Texas) of the U.S. Karate Nationals.  The USA-N.K.F. is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee.  The USA-N.K.F. offers the highest caliber of competition for traditional karate in the U.S.

Overall,  I have taken a total of 30 people to the U.S. Karate Nationals and 29 people have won medals.  4 of the 29 were from special needs students competing in the non-handicap division.  The shortest amount of time someone has trained and won a National medal is 2 months.  There has been 12 students that trained less than 1 year and have won a medal.  8 of those students trained less than 9 months.  6 of those students trained 6 months or less.  The oldest competitor to date was 57 (female) and the youngest was 5.  So far, I have taken 5 five year olds and 3 in 2007.  In 2007, my students won 2 of the 3 medals in the 5 and under beginner girls kata division for the entire U.S.

In my karate program, we don't just focus on competing, we focus on the art of karate, the self-defense aspect,  the competition aspect, and the fitness aspect.  Karate is not an extracurricular activity.  Karate is an art form, a way of life for many and a discipline of the mind and body.

Competition is a great way for the student to test their ability among the best in the nation.  We like to look at the Nationals as a great family experience and a vital tool for exponential growth for the student.  The parents and students learn many things from watching and the experience is unique that cannot be replaced once you experience it!  Thank you for reading my blog!