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LNF: What does 3DMAA stand for?

3DMAA stands for Three Dragons Martial Arts Academy.  It all started in 1997 when my dad came home and handed a sketch to me and my two siblings (Jose and Alicia) of three dragons and at the center the yin-yang symbol.

I remember we all looked at each other and then back at dad waiting for him to explain. He was always a visionary and we learned to expect the unexpected at an early age.
“Each dragon represents one of you. Who you are - your passion and strengths.” my dad explained. “You each make up the whole - Three Dragons and that creates a balance."
That day he announced his vision for our family. We would open our own dojang in Fairbanks, Alaska called Three Dragons Martial Arts Academy that our family ran for the next 10 years and competed around the world with our students.

 

LNF: What makes your family suited to own a martial arts academy?

My family grew up in martial arts and I have been involved for over 25 years.  It shaped my character and developed me into the person I am today.

We know it all ends and begins with care.  We have a strong passion to develop and grow and empower others to do the same.  I understand the impact Martial Arts can have in not only my life, but the lives of hundreds of Three Dragons students.  In fact, my wife and I were recently in Scotland with two of the families from our dojang in Alaska.  We are developing a community with the amazing families that are joining our school.

When we moved here from Alaska, I wanted to find a school to join and continue my Martial Arts training and also involve my son.  We tried several schools and just couldn’t find the right fit.  I am used to traditional Martial Arts that instill respect, discipline, courtesy, and high standards of technique all while having fun.  

 

LNF: Tell me about your family and how involved you are in your business

My wife, Tiffany,  and I met in Alaska about 20 years ago.  We have always been best friends and now have two beautiful children.  Our son, Sage who is 9, is a student and we have seen how consistently taking Martial Arts is helping him stay more focused in school and his grades have improved.  Our daughter, Baylee who is 3, is also a student and we have seen how she enjoys exercise and the increased attention span she is gaining.

My wife is also a student and just began her journey to becoming a black belt.  Not only is she a student, but she manages the operations of the school and assists our students in registering for classes and keeping me organized while still maintaining a more than full time job and taking care of our children.

I am the head instructor and as we are affiliated with ITF (International Taekwon-Do Federation) and ATFI (American Taekwon-Do Federation International) I am required to take International Instructor Certification  courses every couple of years.  

It taught me to never give up - I set a goal for myself to become the youngest Eagle Scout in Alaska. I became a Boy Scout at 6 and our troop was very active in my home town community of North Pole, Alaska. I received the American Flag that hangs in my dojang today, which flew over the White House, when I was 14 years old at an Eagle Scout Ceremony at a dog mushers hall in Fairbanks, Alaska and then inducted into the Order of the Arrow at 15.

It taught me to have a compassion for others and desire to protect people which led me into a ten year career in Fire Service. I attended the University of Alaska - Fairbanks to study Fire and Emergency Services. I started my career as a live-in volunteer firefighter in 2001 to the youngest Battalion Chief in the interior of Alaska in 2009.
It taught me to be respectful and courteous which has served me well in my relationships with friends and family.

It showed me that I have a passion for sharing martial arts with others which has led me to now owning two dojangs.
I battled with depression throughout my adolescence. Martial arts gave me confidence and an outlet to overcome.

Through my passion for Taekwon-Do, I explored other martial arts and have experience in Aikido and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I believe it is important to continue growing `and learning to develop myself into the best version possible.

Through my love of the art I have met and married my best friend and created a beautiful family. I am still in contact with Mr. Lester today and I appreciate the impact he has made on my life through sharing is passion for martial arts.

 

LNF: Why the Lake Nona area?  Do you feel it is important to your success?

We live nearby Lake Nona and love the area.  It is a special community of people and growing substantially everyday and there are not many Martial Arts schools to choose from.  We understand that it is critical to find the right fit when looking for a school.  

 

LNF: What do you teach exactly?  Is it fun?

Three Dragons teaches ITF Taekwon-Do.  Taekwon-Do focuses on kicks and was developed to counter Karate.  Not only is it fun, but it is a great workout!  You can increase flexibility, agility, speed, balance, coordination, and focus.  

 

LNF: How does it benefit kids?  Tell me about your group classes. 

Martial Arts benefit kids in many ways, but I will focus on the top 6 from my perspective.  

1) Fostering Self-Discipline 
2) Learning to Set and Achieve Goals 
3) Increased Self-Esteem / Confidence
4) Instilling a Sense of Respect 
5) Encouraging Non-Violent Conflict Resolution 
6) Improving Listening Skills 

The benefits of martial arts training don’t end in the dojang. The boost in confidence, increased fitness level and new cooperation skills will also help your child navigate the academic and social aspects of school, affect his behavior at home and have an all-around good influence on him as he develops into an adult.

We have consulted with top child psychologists to develop the very best curriculums for toddlers through teenagers to get the best results around.  We know that a 3 year old is different than a 5 year old, 7 year old, and a 10 year old!  Our classes are grouped by development stage (not ages).   This means we know what each development stage is physically capable of doing so it lessons frustrations during classes and boosts confidence while everyone is having a lot more fun!   

All of our kids go through an initial 6 week program, this enables them along with their parents to learn more about the Martial Art and how the lessons spill over into all areas of their lives.  

 

LNF: What about for adults?  Does Martial Arts improve fitness?

Martial Arts is great for adults!  Not only can it help you get in shape (or stay in shape), but it will increase your flexibility and agility.  The result will be an increase in muscle tone and muscle mass which  can also lead to weight loss.  I believe one of the more critical benefits is increasing confidence.  We are setting goals and achieving them!

We believe in goal setting and provide all of our adult students a development workbook.  We then provide support and accountability along with instruction to help you achieve your goals.

 

LNF: What do you love about what you do?

I am inspired to get up and work to make an impact in the lives of my students.  We live by a set of principles and we apply that to our school:

1. Care generously for your team members and students.

“We believe that ‘care’ is the heart of our success.  When we focus on serving, we are always headed in the right direction.”

2. Lead by setting a personal example.

“There are many ways to lead.  We believe the BEST way to lead is by the personal example you set.  Your action ALWAYS speak louder than your words.  Rise up and be a positive example for everyone around you.”

3. Listen with an open mind, accept feedback, and add value to conversations.

“We believe collaboration is essential to our success.  All of us are better than one of us, and success begins by listening with an open mind, accepting feedback from others, and then adding value to the conversations we have with one another.”

4. Take action that serves the students, your team, and the school.

“Action is what moves us forward.  We’ve committed to taking action that serves our students, our team, and the school (aligned in that order).  When we do that, we can’t go wrong.”

5. Attack challenges and own results through the finish line.

“We believe the most important asset we have is the ‘inner stance’ we choose to operate from.  And we’re committed to operating from an empowering stance that directs our thinking and behavior towards attacking challenges in front of us.  But action alone isn’t enough.  To be successful we must take ownership of driving results through the finish line.”

6. Welcome adversity as an opportunity to learn and grow.

“We believe that life and business will always bring us challenges.  We are grateful for them.  They are both a gift and opportunity for us to grow personally and professionally.” 

7. Work as a team to find simple solutions to problems.

“We believe that all problems can be solved when we work together as a team.  Often what we perceive as a ‘problem’ generally isn’t one.  It’s merely time for us to rise up and make an important growth decision.  Keep it simple and continue moving forward!”

8. Work with enthusiastic passion and pride in producing results.

“We’re going to spend a lot of time working in our lives, so it’s important to define the WAY we work together.  We’re committed to working with enthusiasm and passion for our purpose and mission.  We take great pride in producing awesome results for our students.”

9. Ask for help and offer it to others when needed.

“We believe in letting go of our egos in order to continue growing.  When you need help, simply ask for it.  When you see someone struggle who can benefit from your support, give it to them freely.”

10. Set and share goals publicly.

“We’re committed to setting goals and sharing them publicly.  When we set goals, we point our lives in a positive growth direction.  And when we share our goals with others, we create accountability for our actions and inspire others to grow too.  That’s powerful.”

11. Share credit with others.

“We believe in humility.  Big goals are never achieved on your own.  It takes a lot of support to get to the top of any mountain in life.  So take time to give and share credit with others.

 

LNF: Tell me why everyone needs to come in for a class.

We offer a preview class for anyone to come in and observe and/or participate.  We understand the importance of finding the right fit - that means an instructor you or your child can learn from, enjoyment being in a community of like minded individuals who are constantly striving to become a better version of themselves everyday, and wants accountability.

We believe that every choice we make either brings us closer to our goals or further away.  We instruct based on this philosophy.  We are people focused - and again it all begins and ends with CARE.

We have student success principles to help set our students up for success; after over 25 years in Martial Arts, I have noticed a pattern in what makes someone successful in the art and developed these principles to help anyone achieve success.

 

 ~We Thank Three Dragons Martial Arts Academy for their Time ~



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