This is the continuation of Maximum Impact Karate's Anthology giving a personal history of events leading up to our dojo's 5 year anniversary.
Two great things happened in the Second Year. We moved into our current location and I was accepted into the Ultimate Black Belt Test.
Moving into the Dublin Village Plaza
By the second year, our program grew from a start of 30 students to about 50. The karate program was growing so much that teaching two times per week didn’t seem like enough. We feared that our school would eventually become a problem for the church so it was time to find a suitable spot.
At the time, there wasn’t much available. We tried to get the spot where the Rita’s was, but the lease was already in negotiation. Finally, a spot opened up in the Dublin Village Plaza. We were suppose move in by November, but because of problems with getting the occupancy permit, our move was delayed until the end of January.
Teaching for the first time in our own dojo felt great, but it also felt strange and foreign.
Ultimate Black Belt Test
Now that I was free from my organization, I wanted to expand my martial arts to a new level. I discovered Master instructor Tom Callos’ Ultimate Black Belt Test. It was toted as the hardest Black Belt Test. It looked like a perfect match for me.
I applied to the program and was accepted. The acceptance e-mail warns that we are not to even consider quitting. I laughed at that so I knew that I was the right type of person for this challenge.
The Ultimate Black Belt required me to get training in areas that I never experienced before. At this point in my training, I only had experience in stand up fighting because my former association did not allow us to train in other disciplines. Over the next two years, I learned Brazilian Jiu Jitzu (grappling), boxing, and weapons training. My skills as a karateka (karate student) skyrocketed.
The Ultimate Black Belt test required many other spiritual and altruistic endeavors like meditating for 15 minute per day (a daily practice I still maintain), empathy days, and community service activities. I enjoyed the community service requirement because I wanted to learn how to make our school an asset to our home town.
One of the most important and valuable parts of the UBBT was it put me in contact with some of the best school owners in the country. Through talking to the members and the visits to other karate schools, I experienced their best practices. I used this information to restructure our curriculum, class formats, and basic business practice to become a professional martial arts school instead of the part time school, we were at the time.