Can you believe it’s been 14 years?
Me either but I’m proud to announce that we’re celebrating Arrowhead Martial Arts 14th year of offering martial arts instruction exclusively for adults in Salt Lake City!
Arrowhead Martial Arts (Formally known as “Arrowhead Kenpo Studios”) started in a basement fitness facility in downtown Salt Lake City called The Firm. The studio has moved four times before finding the current facility on Highland Drive in 2009.
Shawn Gough, now one my 3rd degree black belts, first contacted me about teaching him in late 2000. He had taken KENPO when he was younger in Evanston, Wyoming and wanted to get back into it. He kept emailing me (and emailing…and emailing…) and thanks to his persistence I decided to begin teaching on my own in the Spring of 2001.
Luckily, I was able to find a place pretty quickly.
I lived near The Firm fitness facility that allowed me rent some space in their basement level group fitness room on Tuesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. We had several KENPO orphans (students from other KENPO instructors) in the beginning so my classes were a little more hardcore because everyone had previous training. Guys like Sam, Joshua, Matt, Ian, Brian, Jeremy, and Shawn would crank through technique lines and always looking to bring the intensity.
In time other adults, both with and without any previous experience, wanted to learn. That certainly shifted our group classes and how we approached working with absolute beginners. Not only did we have to adjust our contact levels but we also had to adjust to a more step-by-step teaching methodology with an even greater emphasis on the basics.
Those were some good times back when we got started but I’m also definitely proud of what we’ve become all these years later. I’ve promoted 14 people to black belt, taught hundreds (if not thousands) of people in my classes and seminars, and have made many great and long lasting friendships in the process.
It’s been a highly rewarding experience and I am thankful to my students and instructors for their loyalty and continuing support. I’m especially grateful to my wife Marcy for her support. In fact, she was the one that found the current studio. And, I couldn’t do this without the loyalty and support of our instructors. Without people like Mr. Gough, Mr. Thomsen, Mr. Ford, Mr. Leonard, Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Taylor, and all of our other instructors and assistant instructors, we wouldn’t be able to do this each week and make sure everyone kept progressing.
I would also like to thank my instructors. Without them, I wouldn’t have anything to teach. While I owe much to my instructor Mr. Paul Mills, I also owe a lot to my previous instructors Doug Anderson, Karl Kennedy, and Frank Elsasser. They helped instill in me a passion for KENPO and set great examples as instructors and practitioners.
In addition to our people, I believe we’re fundamentally different from other martial arts schools in Salt Lake City in so many ways. In fact, I think that’s also been a big part of our success.
I’m sure my life would’ve been very different had I not started a studio. I’ve never regretted taking the leap and would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Thank you all for giving me so much to look forward to each week and being a part of our studio.