Determination and Perseverance

One on my good friends asked me to write something for the kids about determination, perseverance, and facing adversity. For those of you who know what I’ve been faced with past several months, one thing I can say is that Im glad Im a Martial Artist. Martial Arts has taught me about perseverance more than anything. When I first started martial arts, my instuctructor had me working every day from 9:00-9:00. My pay was a $349 car payment at the end of the month. I was told to get more students, and then I would make more money. As a green belt I began teaching alot of classes, and going to local tournaments. I was enjoying every second of my life, however most of my family didn’t support my decision in pursuing martial arts as a career. But I persevered and followed my heart. This is what I wanted to do. The first Christmas at the school changed my life, I couldn’t believe that the studetns actually bought me gifts. I recieved cards and presents from the parents for working with their children. They thanked me for teaching their children to be confident, they told me that what I was teaching was different than the other instructors. This is when I decided that I wanted to open my own school.

Things were tough, my instructor was not around that much as he traveled to tournaments all over the world. But this was great for me, because I was basically running all the classes, and learning from the mistakes that I made. I started looking for locations, shortly after recieving my black. This was another tremendous learning experience, my lease in Echo Plaza was 52 pages long, and I knew nothing about lease negotiations. So I bought a book so I knew the terminology. It felt so good to actually know what the lawyers and landlord were talking about.

After signing the lease, I opened in Washington Twp. I was so excited, the grand opening was a success, we enrolled 52 studetns the first month. I spent the entire month of August giving out door hangers to every developement in town. Things were moving, and I was growing. After spending five years in that location, I faced another challange. I bought land and had the new location bulit, I was out of Echo plaza, and I owned my own building. I was the only person in the orgainization to ever do that, and I did it on my own, no help from my parents,  my friends, just my incredible staff. They helped me so much, they were running awesome classes while I was meeting with the planning board, contractors, laweyers, environmental, buliders, electricians, and anyone else you could imagine. The stress of the buliding process was very tough on me, every day something was going wrong, however I just focused my energy on how great it would be when it was over. It was suppose to be done in September, however I ran my first class in January. One thing I’ve learned is that you have to wait for great things, be patient and it’s more special when you accomplish it.

Then from there everything was great, right? Wrong! The classes and the school was great, but I made some decisions that I learned so much from and have made me a better person. Most people might say, I made some mistakes. But mistakes are learning experiences. Ant that’s where Im at today. The new Champions Way of Life is a new beginning, a clean slate. When I was going through rough times, it was two key people that helped me through it, they told me to follow my heart! Do what my heart is telling me, the complete opposite of former mentor. And that’s my advice to my students, follow your heart, do what you love, and success will follow. If your not happy, make your move, life is to short to settle and live a life of unhappiness. Surround yourself around people you love, you do have a choice! And no matter how bad things look, your attitude and determination will get you through anything. So for some of us, we need to change the way we think! It’s the power of positive thinking!

I would like to thank all the parents and students who have supported me along the way. Our black Belt candidates who have been loyal, and stuck by the instructors that have shown them them martial arts, shown them life skills, shown them effort and determination, and have taken them to Black Belt. We appeciate your support, and the new Champions Way of Life Black Belt will symbolize having the heart of a Champion. Please have your children read the blog, so they can see that everyone is faced with challanges and adversity, and so they can remember, the first time they are faced with a life changing decision. I hope that they have the confidence, and that they can follow their heart, when faced with a tough decision. 

In closing , I would just like to say thanks to my friend, Frank Baccare. Frank is a great father, a great husband, and a great friend. His son Frank is a direct reflection of him, he has a great attitude, great spirit, and will be a great Black Belt on the 24th!

I owe everything to the martial arts,

Sensei Nick

4 Responses to Determination and Perseverance

  1. Harry Hughes says:

    Good for you Sensei Nick. Through the years that I’ve known you as well as the classes that my son were in, I have always known you to be confident, upbeat and full of energy, where I have no idea that you get it from but can only assume it’s your passion and desire to teach. I’m still trying to get my son Seth back in class but just wanted to pass this on that I also agree with your message here in that if you give up on yourself, so do you give up on your dreams!

    Have a great day Sensei and hope to see you again soon.

    son-Seth Hughes

  2. Joann Semeriglia says:

    Wonderfully put…Excellent job Sensei Nick.

    I only hope I can someday show my love, desire, and determination for martial arts the way you show us as your students.

    Kudos to you and your great staff.

    You are all Champions in my book!

  3. Steve Quinn says:

    You and your ENTIRE staff are an inspiration Sensei. All of you have touched my life and had a huge impact my family. You were all so supportive and caring when Connor was hurt earlier this year. Without your help and support and the love and support from all of the CHAMPIONS families I truely believe Connor may have not lived through his accident. YOU ALL made him mentally and physically strong and motivated him in ways I could only dream of. The respect that he has for all of you is what drove him to get better, walk again, and endure all his treatment he has had and will have for years to come. For this I will be FOREVER GREATFUL! So you and your staff will always be champions in my eyes.

    Steve Quinn

  4. Lori Campisano says:

    Dear Sensei Nick,
    A few years ago, my son Peter was without a passion. He had tried every sport and never showed much interest. People kept saying that he should try karate. Then a friend mentioned to me that they heard that there was a good karate school in Echo Plaza, so Peter decided to give it a try. Well, as you know that was over four years ago and Peter is on the eve of getting his junior black belt. He has truly enjoyed his journey so far because of the encouragement of you and your staff. You’ve always believed in him and he respects and admires you. You and your staff have given him confidence and the ability to stay focused and determined in martial arts and in life.
    As you have always supported our son, my husband and I want to offer our support and wish you the very best in your new journey as a Champion.

    Lori and Pete Campisano

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