Hi. My name is Brett Casser and I’m the director and chief instructor here at Chon-Ji Academy. We’ve been helping people of all ages achieve their health, fitness and safety goals since 1987. I can’t believe that it’s already been 33 years…
You know how in business, they say you have to get your elevator pitch together, just in case you run across somebody who needs to know about your business, or what product or service you sell in a short amount of time, about the amount of time it takes to go up or down an elevator with them? Well, I was thinking about that today, and obviously, we’re in the martial arts business, but that’s not really the service that we provide, the way I look at it.
The way I see it is we’re in the feel better business. What I mean by that is people come in, starting with the kids, they come in after school. They’ve had a long day of sitting their butts in the classroom chairs, and listening to their teachers, hopefully, and they come in, they’ve got a lot of energy to burn off. Sometimes they’re hanging their head a little bit. They might’ve had a tough time, maybe a test or quiz didn’t work out quite the way they wanted it, or they’ve got a homework assignment that they just can’t get started on.
Anyway, they come into the school, we greet them as soon as they come in. We’re happy to see them. We fool around with them a little bit. We kid around with them a little bit. We get them lined up. We start class. By the time the 45 minute session is over for them, they’re all feeling pretty good. Our goal, really, at the end of the day is we want students to feel better after class than they did when they came in. With the kids, it’s partially physically, but a lot of it is really mental. We work on their self esteem. We build their self confidence. We basically let them know that we’re very happy that they’re there, and we enjoy working with them, and we try to have a good time together while we’re teaching them the martial arts. The martial arts, obviously, is our vehicle, but it’s not really what we do.
With the adults, it’s not that much different. The adults come in, they’ve had a hard time at work or they’ve had a hard time working. They’re tired and they’re stressed. They come into the school, again, we’re very happy to see them. Personally, I’m thrilled that we have adults to teach, not just kids. When they come in, some of them, they’ve got a little bit of that hangdog look as well. We fool around with them a little bit. We have a little conversation during the warm up. We get them started, and then we get down to business.
They get a good workout, so the physical part obviously refreshes them, but again, it’s the mental part. It’s the support they feel from their fellow students. It’s the enthusiasm that they feel from the staff. We really try to keep it playful in the school when we’re sparring and whatnot, so that they enjoy all the benefits of sparring without getting dinged up. By the end of class, the endorphins have kicked in. They leave with a smile on their face. I feel like our mission’s been accomplished.
So, when someone asks me, “What do you do for a living,” yes, I teach martial arts to all ages, but I really feel like what I do for a living is I make people feel better. That’s all I’ve got for today. Hope you’re having a great day. I’m enjoying the sunshine today. Hope you are too.