Why now? As I mentioned, I had been racking my brain on how to have the best of both worlds – teaching martial arts, which I love, and spending time with my family, which I love more. Family is for sure my #1 priority. It is definitely a lot more complicated than that, though.
Many martial arts instructors have families. However, I also noticed a trend the longer I have been in the martial arts – over 30 years. Certainly not all; however, many martial arts instructors I have met in my career have been divorced. Far too many for it to be a coincidence. My personal feelings are that usually, at least one spouse does not love martial art as much as the other, which eventually causes difficulties in the marriage – especially if someone has to choose to spend time with family or at the “dojo.”
So how do you have both? The pandemic spurred the idea in my head which had been forming. With many businesses, including martial arts schools, having to “pivot” and offer online services or risk losing their business (some who still did), the idea started to solidify. I began to hear about more and more different kinds of companies adapting to an online virtual world, many of whom are pretty comfortable there now. Even work seems to have evolved, although many IT folks would likely say it was always like that for them. This new “work-from-home” or even the hybrid model, seems to give people more options to be able to indeed have the best of both worlds, and get to spend more time at home and at least see their family more.
And so… Tough Monkey Nation became a reality… and Martial Arts Fitness classes live-streamed and on-demand videos were born. And man, what a wild ride it has been getting it set up and running. I figured there would be many people already doing this, and supports for this type of business would be pretty easy to find. Heck, we now have self-driving vehicles and rockets landing back on earth to re-use. So how hard could it be to set up a website and online social virtual community to embrace technology and truly find ways to connect with people from around the world in meaningful ways? Well, it has proved to be far “tougher” than I had ever imagined, and that adventure continues to this day. It will likely continue to evolve as this weird online technology tries to find ways to catch up and communicate with itself. But that is a story for another time.
Thanks for hanging in there to the end. I hope you enjoyed the story.
Check out the next article series on “Habits and why I am starting to feel like setting ‘goals’ may actually be a bad thing.”
Chief Monkey - Tough Monkey Nation www.toughmonkey.ca
PS - Remember... You're TOUGHER than you think!