2017 Sports Speaker Series:  Askia “Ski” Allison

[MUSIC PLAYING] All right, ladies and gentlemen,
thank you for having me. Again, it’s been a pleasure
to be here with you all today, noticing some of the changes
from 22 years ago to now is pretty amazing. So I’m happy for a lot
of you, and hopefully for your endeavors as well. Before we get started today,
I’d like to thank a few people. Hiding over in the
corner is a gentleman by the name of Devon Scott. Devon and I met, I
think it was 1996 or so, and he introduced his
older children at the time into the martial arts program
that I had here at Ferris. And some 20 years
later, he had more kids and he brought those
children with us today to do a brief
demonstration for you, and his lovely wife. So if you can give them a
hand, that would be fantastic. Also in attendance
with me, somebody that has to put up with a lot
that I dish out, is my wife. She has been very
instrumental in the start of our martial arts program
back home in the Detroit area. So please give her
a hand as well. All right, to get started, I
have a pretty crazy history in regards to what’s taken place
in my life and the direction that I’ve gone since
I’ve been here at Ferris. The great part about
it is my experience here at Ferris prepared me for
everything I had to deal with and everything to come. So just by a show of hands
for those of you graduating with a communications degree
or sports communications degree, how many of you know
exactly what it is that you want to do when you leave here? OK. Not bad. Now those of you that did
not raise your hand please don’t feel afraid. I had absolutely no
idea what in the word I was going to do with a
sports or with a communications degree. I graduated from here in
’99, and the first job I took was in marketing
and advertising. And I actually
worked for a company that owned the professional
team that I fought on as a martial artist. Sierra introduced me
as a Detroit native. I graduated from
Detroit public schools. And I grew up in an area–
anybody from Detroit? OK. I grew up in an area of
Livernois entirement. And having martial arts in our
community was not the norm. Basketball was the norm. Football was the norm. Maybe a little bit of baseball. But having this
opportunity was something different in the community
that I grew up in. So I had no idea that
I would literally see the world and
travel and fight just from doing martial arts. When I arrived here in
1995 very few people knew that I did
martial arts, but that was also the year that I got
my first opportunity to travel abroad. And I earned my first world
title in Stuttgart, Germany in ’95 fighting an
organization called WAKO, which still to this
date is one of the largest organizations for kickboxing. We had over 80
nations that I had to work my way through for my
division to be able to win. I was a lot lighter at the time. I think I was a grown
man at 115 pounds. Some of you look like you
came out at 115 pounds. Since then I’ve
had an opportunity to travel a little bit more. Gdansk, Poland in 1997
was very important to me. It was important because I was
still here at the university, and the university
sponsored that trip. The university, in collaboration
with the black Greek Council, actually paid for me
to go fight in Poland. So that was an
amazing experience. When I returned I had opened
my first martial arts program here, which kind of
gave me an opportunity to get a little bit of a taste
of owning a karate school. What took me so long from
’97 until 2010 to open one, I have no idea. But I used to host the
programs and classes at every dorm women’s
self-defense and fitness kickboxing as well. So after graduation I
took a couple of jobs, kind of bounced
all over the place. I managed some health
gyms, health clubs. And then eventually went
into law enforcement. Now, please, don’t
look crazy because I have absolutely no idea how
law enforcement came out of a speech
communications degree. But I knew at the time I
needed a job, preferably with some benefits. So in 2004 I became a
Detroit police officer, and 2007 they did layoffs. Now in the city of
Detroit I thought it was impossible to get
rid of police officers. We needed them so bad. But they didn’t have a
check, I wasn’t going. So was that layoff
came around I went to a couple of other agencies
and ended up in Highland Park. Highland Park is, I like
to say a suburb of Detroit, but it’s not. It’s 2.9 square miles
of an area that’s probably a little bit
rougher to where I patrolled. I went into narcotics about
two years into my career, and recently did
an early retirement as a narcotics detective. During the time that
I was working there I also ran a
martial arts school. And then I had two
shootings, as well. So my time during
the two shootings I end up having to
work in welfare reform. So I was creating policy
for what we would consider our new welfare reform now,
and training individuals to be job ready. I did that, worked
the police department, and ran a karate school
for about two years. So out of a 24 hour day I
slept for about four hours. 20 of it I was working. But I had a vision. In addition to the
fact that I like work, my vision was to get me out
of that situation a little bit earlier so that I could
really enjoy my passion. And that passion
is martial arts. So we’re going to start
off with the first video. Move over Billy
Blanks, West Michigan has a karate and kickboxing
champ of our own. East Ferris State senior, Askia
Allison, better known as Ski. I’m a world champion. I won my first world title
in Stuttgart, Germany back in 1995. And he hasn’t stopped
winning since. He has trophies and medals
from around the country and the world. During the week Ski goes to
class, and on the weekends, he travels all over competing
in karate and kickboxing, adding to his trophy case. Ready? And go. Good. Ski’s workout
cardio kick is also a big winner in Big Rapids. The workout combines karate
and kick boxing with aerobics. And Ski’s classes
are always crowded. Everyone’s looking for something
different to work out with. They’re sick of the machines
and the regular classes. This provides the
opportunity for people to learn some self defense,
as well as get a good workout. So you can leave sweating,
know that you trained good, and learn some techniques to
defend yourself if you had to. Could I conquer the
cardio kick challenge? For over 45 minutes Ski put
us through a grueling regimen, mixing good old fashioned
aerobics exercise with martial arts techniques. Up, jab, cross jab. Up, jab– Ski says with so many people
taking jabs at university life this class is a
positive for everyone. At a lot of universities
you hear about some of the negative
aspects of alcohol, and this class has
been a ray of light to show that students do more
than just party and drink. And they come here and work
out and have a role good time. Very good. Because I love it. It’s great. It makes me feel
good when I leave. And take it from me,
it is challenging. Cardio kick will work muscles
you didn’t even know you had. That was a great workout. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m very rubbery. Juliet Dragos, WZZM 13 News. You’re going to do that. Yes. Wow. OK. Let me stand back. Woe. Wow. That’s great. All right, this is
something that other people that practice karate, have
they picked up on this? Yes, they try
different techniques. Most competitors
watch each other and they use
different techniques. One of the only
professional karate teams in the entire country. Winning is very important. This is what it’s all about. This is our hometown. Tonight they spar and sweat
preparing for Saturday’s international showdown. The more points we
get, the better seed we get for that
world championship. Terrance Alfred
and Askia Allison are members of Detroit’s
professional karate team. It’s one of only two
professional karate teams in the country. Their team is called
Simplified Employment Services, or SES karate team. My goal is to make a difference
as far as the sport goes. Richard Plowden is a
five time world champion. Work some side kicks. Work some side kicks. He coaches the 12 member team
along with the teams feature. Along with the SCS
professional team, close to 300 local students will
also be competing this weekend. I just would like for folks to
have an open mind about sport karate. It’s really working
with the kids, building them from
the inside out. An approach Alfred and Allison
have fine tuned over the years. As pioneers in the
professional arena, they’re hoping to
fill their hometown with pride come Saturday. In Detroit, Meg Oliver,
UPN50, 10 o’clock news. [MUSIC PLAYING] Once we got going with
our martial arts school we opened a very small one. The first one was in
Redford, Michigan. And we outgrew that
location and ended up moving to a much larger
facility in Livonia. It was on seven mile. I think it took us about
two years for six mile. And then about a year to
outgrow the one on seven mile before we moved into
our current location. So we have been
very fortunate to be able to grow all
of our programs. Even despite the
accomplishments that I’ve had in the martial arts,
it does my heart well to be able to see that the
children are doing well. That is my biggest
accomplishment for being able to host a martial
arts program, and the growth of our facility. It has been my goal
to be able to bring martial arts to individuals that
otherwise would not have been able to have it, in communities
where they would not have been able to have it. If you noticed in the
video during that time, about 15 years ago,
I was running around from different communities,
different facilities, teaching classes in their schools,
in their recreation centers, before we moved on to
opening our own studio. Our next video is
for a demonstration that our children have
at the Detroit Pistons. Two years ago we started
a nonprofit organization within the profit portion
of our martial arts school geared towards helping
children with ADD, ADHD, mild forms of autism,
low income families, and childhood obesity. If you are looking to do
anything recreation related with your sports
communication degree I highly encourage
you to look at that. A lot of our children are
diagnosed with these issues and is very beneficial to
have a structured recreation program for them to do. Some of these
individuals in this video here will be a part of
our demonstration team. [MUSIC PLAYING] Ladies and gentleman, give
it up for Bulldog Karate. All right, ladies and gentlemen. Out of this group
how many of you would like to be self-employed? [MUSIC PLAYING] I’m sorry. Let’s see those hands. Anybody interested in being
self-employed in this group? Just a couple of people? OK. Those of you that don’t
want to be self-employed is there any
particular reason why? Just one person,
let me know why. Don’t all be shy. I’ll pick on you. Why wouldn’t you want
to be self-employed? I do want to be self-employed. Oh, you do? OK. Who does not again? You don’t. Why not? I enjoy the aspect
of a team environment where everybody,
like, works together. Could you create that
team environment? Yeah, you could. But I think I need the
experience of the team first before I get the
experience of winning a medal. OK. And that’s a– that’s
a good example. Most of us have been
conditioned to work for someone. We’ll go through
education thinking in terms of what we’re going
to do to be able to work for, or who we want to work for,
what company, what organization. The great part of the
experience that I had is that I’ve worked for
municipalities, government. And I’ve watched it all just
kind of fall apart, layoffs in Detroit. Another department that
I went to that came out of receivership went bankrupt. Individuals lost their pensions. And when you think in
terms of the comfort to be able to do
things on your own, create the culture that you
want to create for yourself, build the team that you
want to build for yourself, there’s nothing more refreshing. I have conversations with
some colleagues of mine at all martial arts
studios as well, and we have to remind
ourselves from time to time, even when things get financially
tight, if I work for someone and I want to make
some more money, what do I have to wait to– what do
I have to wait on to happen? Anybody? Have to wait for a
promotion to get a raise. What else? What else might have to
happen in order for me to get more money? Wage hike. Wages going up, promotion. Gotta put more time in. More hours on the job. OK, controlling
this myself gives me an opportunity to take my
programming wherever it is I want. I could literally just go meet
another person that has a kid, pass out a flyer, invite
them to come try the classes. And once they’ve done that
that is potential revenue immediately. I get that opportunity
to direct exactly what it is that I want to do. I was unable to do that until we
started an after school karate program. When I first
started the program, I think it’s been
about three years, I had one child in the program. And I would drive this
van to pick up this one child at this one school. And I can remember
my wife saying, how long are you just going
to keep driving that van and picking up that one kid? And I told her I was going to do
it until we got some more kids. That parents signed up
for that commitment, I was going to do that. And we look back now,
four vehicles later, 15 to 17 schools
that we pick up from. This was the particular
reason that I was able to retire early. Welcome to Metro United Karate. The metro areas best
martial arts curriculum. We’re located at
16184 middle belt road in Livonia, Michigan
inside of the Concord Plaza with Fitzone for Women
and Domino’s Pizza. We offer martial arts classes
for ages three and up. Our top program, our
after school karate, picks your child up
from their school, transports them
here to our studio. We provide a snack, one
hour of homework time with a certified teacher,
and an amazing karate program five days a week. We also host the nation’s
best cardio kickboxing workout with over ten classes a week. Our karate classes are ideal
for developing self discipline, improve focus and
grades, with the areas best anti-bully curriculum. Give us a call at 734-744-6121. Or feel free to visit us on
the web at www.mukarate.com. Or you can stop in,
take advantage of one of our free trial lessons, or
find our any other specials we have to offer. Thank you and have a great day. We all have some different
things that motivate us. One of my motivators
is the intrinsic value of being able to give
back to the community. However, that didn’t
feed my family, move us out of the neighborhood,
things of that nature. So I think we all have a
little deep down inside– a little bit of a motivator
from financial gain. To be able to
support your family, travel, do things
that you enjoy doing. That provided that opportunity. I think we went from
chasing people down to make their tuition
payments to almost generating at the school
approximately a quarter million dollars a year. And that has been in about
a six, seven year span. My goal financially in
our area is probably to be the first person
or the first school to generate a million dollars. That’s been a challenge because
a lot of the community in which I come up from
doing martial arts, they were excellent
martial artists. They can fight, but they didn’t
understand a business concept. I think Ferris
definitely prepared me for that, the marketing, the
advertisement, the experience of having a track in the
communication program to do the recreation management. That all kind of pointed
me in the right direction to be able to market,
advertise, and do things that we need to do to
help grow the school. So right now we’re going to
move on to the two students that we have over here,
Christian and Madison Scott. Our school is mainly
known for fighting, but naturally they’re not going
to fight each other today. I’m just going to have
them do a few basic kicks. And because they’re
brother and sister they can save the
fighting for home. So if you could just direct your
attention over on this side. And I’m going to
have them come out and I’ll call out a couple
of techniques for them. Scoot up just a little bit. Right there is perfect. Come to attention. Bow. Sparring stances,
right leg and back. Our first kick to
get you warmed up would be your
front stretch kick. Off your right leg when I count. Ready. One. Two. Three. Change feet. Off your left leg. Inside to outside crescent kick. One. Two. Three. Change feet. Front leg. Front leg. Your left leg, roundhouse kick. Ready. One. Two. Three. Next is our spinning hook kick. Spinning hook kick will
happen off of your back leg. Ready. One. Two. Three. Change feet. Last technique for
you, front snap kick. Ready. One. Two. Three. Come to attention. Bow. But Ladies and gentleman,
give them a hand. [APPLAUSE] Christian, you’re up first. Christian is going to break
a board with a reverse punch. Christian go ahead and
put your strong side in back, what hand you
prefer to punch with. Make a nice, tight fist. And your goal for
hitting the board is like you’re punching through
it to punch me in the chest. You’ll practice. Give it a soft touch. One. Again practice. Two. Last one. Hit it hard, and yell. Very good. [APPLAUSE] Madison. Madison, your technique
will be an axe kick. Take the leg up nice
and high, drop it straight down in between. You get one chance to do it. Go. Very good. [APPLAUSE] Face the audience. Come to attention. Bow. Thank you, guys. [APPLAUSE] You can set those down over
there with Mrs. Allison for me. Thank you. All right, ladies and gentlemen. We’re going to open
up the floor now for any questions that
you may have for myself or the children that
performed the demonstration. Yes, sir? I seen on the video,
it didn’t really look like you was really trying
to take your opponent out. Is that like a
thing with karate? The fighting that you watched
there was point fighting. All of those fights were
about 20 years ago or so. So in point fighting
all you have to do is make contact
with the individual. And the judge will stop
and award the point to the person that scored
or made the contact first. So when you went to go fight
in Poland was it like that too? Yes, it was point fighting. I’ve done some kickboxing. I used to kick box at the
orbit room in Grand Rapids, back in the day. And I had a televised contract
to fight on Chuck Norris’s world combat league. Yep. Any more questions? Yes sir? So is the the only
martial arts classes on the west side of Detroit? Because I’m from Detroit, too. I’m on the east side part. So you only have one
on the west side? Yes. Currently our school is
only on the west side. There are some other studios
that are on the east side that I could recommend you to. Where are you at
on the east side? Over by [INAUDIBLE] Drive. OK. Yeah. You’re deep east. Yeah. Deep east. Yeah. OK. Any more? What was that? Oh, OK. No more questions? Everybody has it all
planned out for what it is that you want to
do when you graduate? Were you renting out a facility
and only had one kid everyday? Ha, no. [INAUDIBLE] No. We had our martial
arts program already. So we had a student
body base that was coming in before we started
that after school program. So we already had the facility
and a good number of students anyway. The after school
program, because we were picking the kids up
Monday through Friday, providing tutoring for them, a
snack, then their martial arts class, it replaced latchkey. So what people were paying
monthly for regular karate tuition, they are almost
paying per week for the pick up service. What aspired you to
get into martial arts? Karate movies. I’ve been doing martial
arts for about 33 years. I was watching karate movies. I bugged my dad to sign me up. And he eventually did
it and I stuck with it. See I said the same
thing to my mama. She still ain’t [INAUDIBLE] You can do it now yourself. Yeah. I used to like watch Dragon
Ball Z and [INAUDIBLE] movies. Yeah. That’s it. Just find a local school. Are you getting ready
to graduate soon? No. So there’s a karate club here,
I believe, in the school– for Big Rapids– a club with
the university and a Big Rapids school. So go ahead and get started. Yes, sir? Who’s your– you
favorite karate person? Like, who’s your role model? My favorite martial
arts role model will probably be someone
that none of you would know, because it’s sport specific. But it’s a gentleman by
the name of Tony young. He’s in Atlanta, Georgia. He was a super lightweight
fighter at the time. And he was currently
he was the only person to have won a grand championship
as a super lightweight. So the grand championship means
that they take the division winners from each weight
class and they fight down to one winner. He had done that on a
couple of occasions. And then the only other person
to do that after him was me. Anybody else? Yes sir? Do you have a black belt? Yes, I have a black
belt, fourth Dan. Yes. So forth Dan black belt,
33 years experience, and five world titles. Your wife is also a black belt. My wife is also a black
belt. Yes, that is correct. How long have you
been doing classes? Over 20 years. Yep. Black belt, and 20
years experience, and a national champion. She actually fights very well,
but she just saves it for home now. Do you ever spar together. We used to. I loved it. But then she stopped. She won’t do that now. And then the kids– we have kids that do
martial arts as well. What’s the process to
getting a black belt? It’s rigorous. We have a variety of different
stages for them to go through. For most of the
students it’s great because there are
different checkpoints. And the different colored
belts give them an opportunity to reach all of these
different short term goals until they get to black
belt. And the two children that just demonstrated,
both of them are one step away from
being black belts. Do you have plans to open
other facilities in the future? Yeah, I don’t want
to live in Detroit. I’m really– don’t laugh. I’ve been there all my life. I’m ready to go. I need some water in my life. I want to go to
somebody’s coast. I like the Carolina’s
and/or the Florida area. So in about three
to four years I would like to leave
that school to someone. That they can kind of
gradually buy me out of it month to month, and
then open up another location. I have been bouncing back and
forth between grad school. And I honestly need
to finish it up for a master’s in
criminal justice. So I’ll make some
determination of what my next direction will be. Have you had any injuries? Have I had any injuries? Yeah. Oh, yeah, man. I get out of bed hurting. I just– yeah, I’ve had some
injuries, meniscus damage, broken nose, broken toes. And, you know, all of that. Yes. It’s kind of a part of it. But I’m used to it. Anybody else? No more? Um, all right. Yes? In terms of owning
your own business, are there any
pointers that you can provide that you wish you
would have known when you first started out that you know now? Oh, that’s– well I
could go on and on. If you didn’t hear the question
it was, in terms of owning my own business are
there any pointers that I would point out now
that I wish I knew before? Confidence, ladies
and gentlemen. I wish I would have
done it a lot sooner. A lot of times we
get caught up in the, how am I going to do it? Sometimes it just
really means you just need to take that first step. OK? You don’t have to see
the whole stairwell to start moving up the steps. A lot of faith goes a long way. And once I finally got started
I think the biggest thing that helped us out was billing. We had maybe about 40 students
at our first facility, and I have to realize
that everybody does not prioritize the same. They wouldn’t pay their bills. I was trying to track
them down to get payment. So when we moved on
to a billing company and changed the culture
of our facility, because that’s the part that
you can actually control. You can control that culture. And influencing your desires
into other individuals becomes paramount. So now the payments are drafted
directly out of their account. They know what those
expectations are. I had a talk with a
gentleman from New York and I was having a
hard time selling the kids their safety gear, the
gear that they need to fight. The parents just
weren’t buying it. They would say, oh,
Mr Allison, I can’t– I can’t afford it. And it wasn’t very expensive. They just didn’t prioritize it. It was not very
important to them. So a buddy of mine, Jadi, said,
well, Ski, look at their shoes. I said, what do you mean
look at their shoes? He said, no. No. I’ve got to get off the phone. But, real quick,
look at their shoes. And students start to
come into the school and I’d look down
at their shoes. And over the course of two
days there were Air Jordan’s. It was– I mean, different pairs
of different types of shoes coming in. I have one little kid right now
on my subsidized program, who comes in on a grant,
and he matches his polo shirt to his socks,
and his shoes, a different polo shirt every day. I don’t think he’s worn
the same one twice yet. But the priority was
not there for them to pay for the safety gear. It was for these other things
that weren’t important. So you have to be able to
control your environment, let people know what
your expectations are, and then be very firm with it. That’s a good question. Thank you. Yes, ma’am. Did you say that you worked
with narcotics in Detroit? Yes, I did. My dad’s a DA and
he works in Detroit. I wonder if you know him. His name is Dan Krout. Probably by face. Yeah. But, you know, the narcotics
teams in Detroit and Highland Park, I mean, there are probably
about 20 different teams. Yeah. Yeah. I was just wondering. Because he does, like,
the same thing in Detroit. OK. Nope, I haven’t– I don’t think I’ve met him,
but, you know, who knows? Yes, sir? I have a question. What would you say are the
top three characteristics of a business owner– a
business owner to have when dealing with
customers and providing customer satisfaction? Top three components for
providing customer service or customer satisfaction? The first thing is
knowing your value. You know your value you won’t
be convinced to do anything less than that. I’ve had some individuals
that I’ve had to turn away. And it wasn’t necessarily
a customer service issue. It was that they
came in the facility, they decided what it is that
they wanted for their children to do martial arts. For example, they wanted
them to do karate, but they didn’t want them
to kick and punch anybody. They didn’t want
them to get hit. And I had to learn–
because before the old me would have said, oh,
well, I need that sign up. I had to learn to let
them know that this is not the facility for you. This is the program that we run. This is how we run it. So that first start, again,
is controlling your culture and not being scared
to let individuals know if they’re not a fit. And I learned that a
little bit later, but I know that I’m not
everybody’s cup of tea and our business won’t be
everybody’s cup of tea. But that’s a– that’s
a really good start. Second is doing the things
for the right reason. There have been times that
I worried about money. And the times that I
worried about money, money got further and
further away from me. When my focus became what it
is that needed to be done, either for the community,
no matter what job it was, what business it was, what
programming I was doing. When I focused on
that stuff everything else financially just seemed
to kind of fall in place. And then lastly, you know you
hear this thing, a saying, putting the customer first. I believe in that. Now it’s very hard for me. And you may know, if you
have to deal with your dad, dealing with individuals with
law enforcement experience is pretty challenging. We’re used to dealing with
what we would probably consider stupid people all day. And then you have to think
that you’re smart all the time. You have to be able
to leave it at home– leave it at work so
you don’t take it home. It doesn’t affect your married
life, and at the same time that it doesn’t
affect your business. So I had to be able to
put that side of my life aside and be able
to focus on exactly what the individual needs. So when I get a chance
to do that I think we find out that we have happy
customers or a happy client base. Anything else? What’s the most– probably
the most effective lesson that you took away
from the university? Time management. Most effective lesson I
took from Ferris State was time management. I would not have gotten as
far as I am now if I didn’t learn how to manage time. And I’m talking from being
in school to study time, to now how I manage
my time with work. Being self-employed, I thought
I’d have this free time. That I would be
able to, you know, just wake up in the
morning whenever I want, go open the
school, and, you know, do a handful of things. I find now that I’m actually
working now at the school more than I did anything else,
even when I held down more than one job at a time. This time it’s just refreshing. So it’s not as hard because it’s
something that I enjoy doing. But I have to allocate time. This is time for marketing. This is time for
retention calls. This is time for curriculum. This is time for training,
and training staff, and things of that nature. So time management was
definitely the best thing that I picked up here. Anymore? Yes, sir? How many students
do you have now? We have about 90
students now in total. My goal is 200. 200 students, I would
be a happy camper. Yes. Yes, sir? Do the students mind sharing
how the experience helped them grow? Sure. Christian and
Madison, come on up. Only if they [INAUDIBLE] Test them out. Madison can go first. So did you hear his question? No. OK. Go ahead one more time. How has the experience
helped you develop and grow? What’s the most impactful part? This experience helped
me learn and grow because it’s not just teaching
you about, like, martial arts. It teaches you discipline, too. And over the years passing
now, because, like– Yeah. You’ve been at it for a while. Yeah. Like, this is, like,
my tenth or ninth year. So we get disciplined
really– like it impacted me for all those years. Yeah. It also helped you
with dance– your form. Yeah. [LAUGHTER] It helped me
perform other sports that I do, like football, like
running programs, self-defense. OK. All right. Cool. [APPLAUSE] That discipline part,
you will hear that a lot in the martial arts program. The parents bring the
children in for a variety of different reasons. Some of them need a
babysitter to watch them. Some of them are tired
of hearing their kids crying when they actually
get hit, kicked or punched. But ultimately a lot of
them love the discipline. I’ve had parents drop the
kids off at the school, and they’ll go run
to Wal-Mart, or do whatever it is they need
to do, and they come back and pick them up. And over a period
of time they’ll eventually pop in and
actually watch him perform. And then they want
to wonder, who is this kid saying, yes, sir and
no, sir, yes, ma’am, no, ma’am. But again, it’s
part of the culture and a tradition of
the martial arts. And so that discipline
part goes a long way. So from Ferris it
was time management, but for martial arts it was
definitely discipline for me as well. Any more questions? From the back of the room there? Well time management and
discipline kind of intertwine. I mean– Oh, they should. But you’ll find
that a lot of people have discipline for the
things that they want to do. How many of you get an
assignment for Dr. Alspach and had plenty of
time to do it, but– oh, so the discipline may
have kicked in two days before it was time
to turn it in, because you knew
you had to do it, but you manage the time poorly. So, yeah, they’re kind of close. But, you know, sometimes not. Any other questions? Yes? What’s the age range
for you students? It is now currently
five years and up. It was three-year-olds. My wife used to teach them. Interesting bunch. They were fine though, for you. For me. Yes. No. Not for me. Five years old and up. With martial arts being
about self-discipline how do you teach the kids to
then again come back in and be a team player
in other aspects of life. Oh, OK. That’s again– that’s
creating a culture. These are things that
we talk about in class while they’re there,
while their parents are sitting on the sidelines. Their very first
lesson they come in and they learn to
stand at attention. Now I can just say
stand at attention and not explain to them why. But when we’re
standing at attention we’re showing that
we have self-control. So I’ll ask the
student body, what do you think self-control means? And they’ll say, standing still. Somebody else might
say, well, controlling your actions, your
body movement, things of that nature. And then from self-control
we’ll talk about integrity. And the example that
we use for integrity is doing the right
thing, even when you think no one’s watching. If you guys have ever
done any programming in any elementary
or middle school you would have seen this
happen all the time. A teacher may have to take a
quick step out of the classroom to go see another colleague
or to go pick something up from the office. What do you think happens
in that classroom? Total chaos. They go crazy. They go absolutely crazy. And that’s what the kids say. Oh, they go crazy. I said, but you
guys don’t do it. Do you? Oh, no, Mr. Allison. Not me. And the martial arts is– the basics for me
is teaching them that it’s like
having a super power. This discipline, this focus,
this self-control, and having integrity are some of
the characteristics that we instill from
the very first day. So I will even do
drills with them. I’ll have my class in
front of me and I’ll say, I have to go over here
to get some focus pads. And I’m going to trust that
you are going to show me that you have integrity. So what is it you’re
supposed to do? And they’ll all scream
out, stand at attention and show you have self-control. Great. I’ll turn my back. I’ll go get the focus back. Yeah, I might have
one or two kids that– you know, the
five-year-old population that might try to bug out. But most of the
time it’s fantastic. And that works because if
I’m in a class by myself and there’s no other staff,
or they hadn’t made it, and I’m teaching a class
and now a customer comes in. So you come in with your son and
I say, give me one second, sir. I’ll be right with you. And then I have this
lesson, and I’m talking with the children about it. Everyone stand at attention. What are we showing? They holler out self-control. I need to test your integrity
real quick while I go talk to this gentleman. And then you wonder,
how in the world did you get 20 kids to stand
there at attention quietly? You must put the
fear of God in them. But it’s just that conditioning. Believe it or not,
the hardest part is the flexibility that
some of the children get when they get home. We’re working with them
here and giving them discipline and structure, and
at home for some of our student body it’s complete chaos. We use an analogy
comparing it to, like, getting a fish
out of some dirty water. And you clean it
up, but then you’ve got to throw it back in the
dirty pond when it’s done. I have one young man– well, no, we have
a couple of them– but one stands out for me. And I can tell him
what to do, and he’s Johnny on the spot to do it. Bout his mom comes in and he
literally runs her ragged. She can scream at him. I look up and they’ll almost
be hitting each other, but there’s just no
control in that household. So then the lesson that we were
teaching on the Dojo’s floor, we have to try to sneak it over
into the household as well. More questions? No? You sure? All right. Well, ladies and gentlemen,
thank you for having me. You’ve been a great audience. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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