It was winter time back in 2003, I had just turned 7 and my parents were looking to find a new activity for me. Now, I was never the most coordinated or athletic by any means; actually, I had times where it was difficult not tripping over my own two feet. Could it be from my height? Sure, but the reason didn’t really matter, the reality was I needed help.
So, they found a martial arts studio in Mentor and I began my training. Days turned to months and months to years as I kept with it training and progressing through the ranks. Other sports came and went but this held true. During all of my years in school, high school included, it was this and Boy Scouts that I kept going at and participating in. Right about when I was 16, things got serious. I had recently applied for a job as a lifeguard but during the off-season my instructor asked if I would like to assist in class and do some teaching. The rest is history… up until that point, my martial arts training had simply been a hobby, recreation; but from that point on, I was serious. I came to class, training multiple hours 6 days a week. I re-learned forms, I practiced hard and even as the highly nonathletic person I am, I even mastered the splits.
A simple high school job became a passion as I went onward with the goal of owning my own school. I learned everything I could and kept at it. The hard work and sweat payed off and somehow this formally uncoordinated student was competing and winning titles. I have found myself now with several World Champion appearances and twice coming just short at Second Place. Anything is possible, even those who are not athletes, I am a living example!
Perseverance has paid off as I now own a school all of my own in Westlake, Ohio. I have overcome failures and set backs both in tournaments having finally won that elusive World Title as well as in business. My mindset now… to offer the BEST martial arts training in the west Cleveland area. My goal, my goal is to share my passion with those in my community. To stick up for the forgotten ones, the athletically challenged, the “nerds” out there. Why? Because I was and still am to some extent one of them. But here is the thing, the past doesn’t define you, you choices and present do. What other’s say and think doesn’t define you, your actions do. And that is what I have set Horizon ATA all about. Horizon ATA is my dream, a place where Everyone is Welcome and where everyone can come learn, have fun and become the BEST version of themselves they can be!
I cannot wait to meet you all and write the next chapter of my, our story, together!
ATA Internationally Certified Instructor
5th Degree Black Belt in Songahm Taekwondo
ATA Internationally Certified Tournament Judge
World Champion appearances along with multiple podium placements
Multi-Time District Champion in Sparring and Combat Sparring
Multi-Time State Champion in Sparring, Combat Sparring and Weapons Forms
Former Member of Team ATA-USA Combat Sparring
World Champion Team upon Winning Songahm Cup
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Certified Blue Belt