What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
In my experience, I have found it difficult to quote standard prices unless I am doing so for my set martial arts and self-defense classes held at the school where I teach and train. Since there is such a wide variety of needs and potential sizes for instruction, it is best to contact me with details so I can provide you or your organization with an accurate quote for my services.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
An initial phone call or in-person meeting is arranged to discuss their needs before either party commits to the service being offered. Once we agree on content, length of time, date(s) etc. a contract is signed.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
First and foremost, I have been running my own IT business since 1995 providing technology and web solutions to hundreds off clients in varied vertical markets throughout northeast Pennsylvania.
In addition, I have been teaching and training in martial arts and self-defense for over 20 years and hold formal certifications from the "World Hapkido Federation", the "United States Tae Kwon Do Council", the "North American Hapkido Tae Kwon Do Federation", and "Nippon Kobodo Jikishin-Kai USA". I am currently a 4th Degree (Dan) black belt in the Korean martial arts of Tae Kwon Do (hard style) AND Hapkido (soft style).
Other styles I have studied include Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Kuk Sool Won, Eishin-Ryu Iaijutsu, Karate, Judo, Aikido, Wing Chun Kung Fu, and Jiu Jitsu.
I am proficient with many weapons including the Bo, Kumdo, Tonfa, Sai, Nunchaku, Three-Section Staff, Karambit, Cane, Knife, Escrima and Kama.
I have taught a wide variety of individuals and groups - both civilians and professionals including military, police officers, corrections officers, and university public safety officers. Do a search on Amazon with my name and you will see the books that I have published to date.
I am a current Act 235 Lethal Weapons Certified Agent by the Pennsylvania State Police and have been a CCW (concealed carry weapon) holder for over 15 years. (Obviously my background checks are fine!) I am proficient with a wide variety of handguns, rifles and shotguns and have fired thousands of rounds downrange over the years. I also as a university Public Safety Officer which has given me experience in dealing with a variety of safety issues in a college setting.
My experience in the network marketing industry since 2002 has had me speak on stage at national company conventions and earn the company's "Business Builder of the Year" award. I have held over 100 webinar training sessions for my downline and the company over the years as well, so I am very comfortable training either online or offline.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I have always had an interest in martial arts as many young boys do. The difference is that I took that interest and passion to heart and became a professional instructor. I currently hold the rank of Master in two martial arts - Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido. I am continually learning and implementing what I learn into my self-defense classes. Techniques from just about every martial art have made their way into my teaching and training.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I have worked with every type of customer imaginable - and some that weren't! I have taught children from the age of 4 to adults into their 70s. I have dealt with unruly, bad-mannered children and turned them into kids who behave better and respect both me and their parents. I have taught people with zero experience and professionals who have extensive experience including police, military, corrections and public safety officers.
Many of my students are interested in traditional martial arts training, but I have noticed that many people do not have the time or money to devote to traditional training. Therefore, I have streamlined my self-defense classes and am able to impart effective knowledge and techniques in a much shorter time period than "traditional" martial arts instruction.
I have written several books, and one designed for beginners, the "Self-Defense Survival Guide," is available in both digital (Kindle) and print format from Amazon that comes with access to a web site that contains videos of the techniques in the book being performed. This allows anyone to train at their own pace and review techniques as many times as they need to in order to achieve proficiency, plus be able to review them whenever they want.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I am very proud of a course I created for corrections officers that teaches them how to defend against a wide variety of knife and shiv attacks from many different angles.
The purpose of the book/course is to help ensure that COs that are attacked by prisoners with edged weapons know how to neutralize the attack and stay safe so that they can go home to their families. It is a very special project for me because I did the course initially for no charge as a way to give back to corrections officers at a local federal prison. Several had been attacked prior to my creating the course, and I was approached by one of my students who is a CO at the federal prison to create something that would keep him and his fellow officers safe.
From start to finish, including research, deciding on the specific techniques that would work in full working gear (duty belt, boots, vest, etc), shooting and editing the videos, and compiling the course it took me approximately 4 months.
This book is called "Corrections Officer Knife Attack: Self-Defense Training Course" and is available from Amazon.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
If you are interested in hiring someone to teach you life-and-death skills, you better make sure they have extensive experience in real-world self-defense and not just traditional martial arts. Many techniques taught in traditional martial arts classes simply do not lend themselves to modern day attacks. Many do, but some do not.
Hiring the first black belt you can find is a huge mistake! Seek out someone who has trained dozens if not hundreds of people in a wide variety of ages, skill sets, physical attributes and mental abilities.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Make sure you are clear on your needs because not everyone is looking for the same thing. Communicate this to the person you are considering and see what they say. If they simply agree with everything you say, be wary. Also, if they are unable to answer basic questions such as what the value of traditional martial arts training is compared to specialized self-defense classes, run!