When you work with professionals all over the country and the world you get to see a wide variety of industry standards. At the end of the day your professional standards are what make or break you when trying to own, operate and succeed in the Martial/fitness industry. This month’s featured instructor has been with COBRA for many years and we have had the privilege to work and train together on numerous occasions. In fact, we participated in the last test our Kickboxing instructor, Joe Lewis, ever attended.
Tim Harrison and his staff at TM Martial Arts & Fitness are an excellent example of having and maintaining high caliber standards. Their school runs with seamless efficiency, moving from their traditional programs to fitness then to self-defense. While conducting a seminar at TM Martial Arts, I got to see first hand the efficiency and standards in place among their staff. After a kids class there were only a few moments before the adult self-defense seminar and I watched a staff member move all the bags and mop every inch of the main floor.
Every second I was there was structured and efficiently organized like a well-oiled machine. This type of standard carries over to your staff and student body and it’s more important than you might think.
Making a living as a Self-Defense, Martial Arts or Fitness Professional takes a lot more than a black belt. At TM Martial Arts you will see a diversified curriculum that can match up with just about any market need. You can literally take traditional Combat Hapkido, get in great shape with their fitness kick boxing, and take reality based self-defense. All of these programs are for adults and kids.
Now that’s thinking outside the GI. Let’s meet the staff of TM Martial Arts & Fitness and hear their full story.
~Key Staff Members~
Tim Harrison Owner & Master Instructor:
Master Harrison is a 6th degree Black Belt, Certified Police defensive tactics instructor, COBRA Certified Instructor and State Director for the Independent Tae Kwon Do Association.
As Martial Arts Master Instructor at TM Martial Arts, Master Harrison holds Black Belt rank and/or certification in Combat Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do, American Kickboxing, ICHF Ground Survival, Jeet Kune Do Principles, Combat Ju-Jitsu and Combat Hapkido Tactical Pressure Points.
Master Harrison is an inductee to the 2004 USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Hapkido Instructor of the Year, Budo Magazine’s Hall of Fame 2006, International Federation of Ju Jutsuan’s Legion of Honor 2006 and Action Martial Arts Magazine’s Hall of Fame, 2007.
With over 30 years of experience, Master Harrison strives to instill character and proficiency in all of his students.
When and how did you start in the self-defense and martial arts industry?
Tim Harrison: When I was seven years old, I was fortunate enough that my father took me to classes at Tracey’s Kenpo. And that started my experience in martial arts. In my early twenties, I began studying Taekwondo and traditional Hapkido. In the mid 1990s, I was introduced to Combat Hapkido, Joe Lewis Fighting Systems, and I had the opportunity to become involved with a variety of prominent martial artists. In 2002 I decided to leave my corporate job to pursue my dream of opening my own martial arts studio. TM Martial Arts opened in February of 2003, and within the first year we quickly grew to 100 students. We expanded in 2006, and eventually reached 275 students, teaching martial arts to students in the Chicago southwest suburbs. In 2011 I was introduced to the COBRA Fight Systems. In March of 2011, I had the honor of becoming a certified instructor. Now COBRA is an integral part of our program here at TM Martial Arts.
How has COBRA added value to your business?
COBRA has helped to make us known as the authority on self-defense training in our community. The curriculum is solid and the marketing strategies have given us the tools to advertise and execute successful self-defense academies.
What are your training/business goals for the next three years?
Our long term goal is to continue to expand our reach throughout the Joliet area, providing self-defense training, confidence, and empowerment to families of the community. Our short term goal is to incorporate COBRA Fighting Systems as an ongoing program in our class schedule. We also plan to enhance our current fitness based kickboxing program by incorporating the COBRA Fit curriculum and marketing plan.
What do you enjoy the most about being a self-defense instructor?
I enjoy teaching people how to defend and protect themselves. I like to see them gain a new level of confidence as they learn simple, effective techniques for survival. I also enjoy busting common myths that give people a false sense of security.
If you only had five minutes to train somebody, what would be the most valuable survival skill you would teach them?
The biggest hurdle I find right off the bat is that people lack confidence to use their voice. I would teach them to use their voice. Then make them use it louder! People also lack awareness. They walk around oblivious to their surroundings, hunched over their cell phone or solely absorbed in reaching their destination. I teach them that simply looking passersby in the eye can thwart a potential predator from selecting them as their next victim.
Describe your school, its location and the programs offered.
TM Martial Arts’ two studios are located about 40 miles outside of Chicago. We welcome students from 3 1/2 years old through adult. Across both TM Martial Arts studios we have a growing history of producing fine martial artists as well as up and coming leaders in the Joliet area. We pride ourselves in helping our students to fully reach their potential, both on and off the mat. We offer 4 distinct programs: Combat Hapkido, Taekwondo, COBRA, Self-Defense, and Fitness Kickboxing. Our COBRA Academies are offered as Adult 1-Day, Adult 10-Week, and Summer Kids Camps. On occasion, we will take the COBRA training outside of the studio, to places like the community college, Crossfit gyms, the park district, senior centers, etc. We have also partnered with local elementary and middle schools to host Family Nights Out at our studio, where we teach basic COBRA Self-Defense and focus on a family action plan.
If someone is interested in joining as a COBRA instructor/school, what would you tell them?
I would tell them to call right away. The training and materials you will receive are invaluable!
Meet The Team at TM Martial arts & Fitness.
Alicton Inthakoun, Martial Arts Instructor
Mr. Alicton Inthakoun joined TM Martial Arts as a student in the summer of 2006. He achieved his goal of becoming a blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do and Combat Hapkido at the age of 17. Since then, Mr. Alicton has earned his 3rd degree Blackbelt and has a Level I certification in Ground Survival and Anatomical Targeting Strategies and practice with the Dan Bong. Mr. Alicton joins TM Martial Arts staff as a Martial Arts Instructor, bringing outstanding knowledge and instruction to every class. He also coaches and trains the TM Martial Arts Demonstration Team.
Jeremy Sikes, Martial Arts Instructor
Mr. Jeremy Sikes joined TM Martial Arts when he was 7 years old, and has continued studying martial arts for over 9 years. As a 2nd degree black belt, he holds rank in Tae Kwon Do and Combat Hapkido. Mr. Jeremy believes that the discipline he has learned in martial arts has improved all areas of his life. As a Martial Arts Assistant Instructor at TM Martial Arts, he enjoys teaching other martial arts students those important lessons.
Andrew Kohrt, Martial Arts Instructor
Mr. Andrew Kohrt joined TM Martial Arts when he was 7 years old, and has continued studying martial arts for over 8 years. As a 2nd degree black belt, he holds rank in Tae Kwon Do and Combat Hapkido. Mr. Andrew brings outstanding martial arts instruction to every class. He also plays an integral role in the TM Martial Arts Demo Team. He enjoys learning leadership skills, and he applies them to every class he teaches.
Penny Crysler, Martial Arts Instructor, Fitness Coordinator
Ms. Penny Crysler joined TM Martial Arts in 2006 as a student in the Fitness Kickboxing program. Ms. Penny holds rank in Tae Kwon Do/Combat Hapkido/Joe Lewis Fighting Systems, is level 1 certified in ground survival, a certified instructor in Fitness Kickboxing, and is a certified personal trainer. She has also attended several COBRA survival camps at TM Martial Arts.
Chriscelda Hamilton, Certified Fitness Kickboxing Instructor
Ms. Chriscelda Hamilton joined TM Martial Arts in 2009 as a student in the Fitness Kickboxing program. Ms. Chriscelda is a certified Fitness Kickboxing Instructor. As a graduate of multiple COBRA Self-Defense Academies, she has recently become a certified assistant COBRA instructor.
Marc R. Harrison, Self-Defense Instructor
Mr. Marc Harrison is a 1st degree black belt. He has experience in Combat Hapkido, ICHF ground survival, Ju Jitsu, grappling, MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program), Muay Thai Kickboxing, Joe Lewis Fighting Systems, Tae Kwon Do and Police Defensive Tactics.
Mr. Marc is a police officer as well as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and has extensive experience in Military Operations in Urban Terrain, defensive tactics, detainee handling/personnel searches and tactical pistol, rifle and shotgun safety and employment. He has trained foreign military and police in several countries. Mr. Marc became a certified instructor of COBRA Self-Defense in 2011 and adds his unique experience and street smarts to the program.
For Training or More Information TM Martial Arts & Fitness has multiple locations:
To become a certified C.O.B.R.A. Self-Defense Instructor in The United States or Internationally please visit www.SelfDefenseCertified.com