written by: Zanne Lamb-Hunt
Lee Anderson, respectfully addressed as ‘Mr. Lee’ by his students, got his start in martial arts in Gaithersburg, Md. When he was 8 years old, his Mom had missed the deadlines for enrolling him in summer camp.
As though Fate stepped in, she saw a neighbor’s kid wearing a karate uniform on the street. She didn’t hesitate to find out all of the necessary details. An appointment was made for Lee’s first introductory lesson and he was instantly hooked on the ideal summer activity.
As a black belt, at around the age of 12 or 13, Lee was invited to join the Kicks Karate leadership program. He was able to help out at one class per week for one hour.
He assisted the instructor by holding papers, keeping the lines moving, etc. It was viewed as a sort of internship program that would lead to becoming an assistant instructor.
At ages 14-15, Kicks Karate students are hired to help out a few days per week. As assistant instructors, they are given tasks such as warming up the classes. When Lee became eligible at 14, he declined the opportunity. He was going to be a soccer player!
He had a rude awakening from his soccer dream when he was cut after the 1st scrimmage. Lucky for him, the assistant instructor job was still available to him. He held the position until he headed off to college.
Fate Stepped in a Second Time
Kicks Karate opened a location in Urbana. Lee had been considering opening a Karate school in that same location and didn’t hesitate to help out for the summer as Assistant Instructor.
It took no time at all to hop aboard when he was offered a full-time position. Mr. Lee has been the manager there for 5 years this September. He’s enjoying following his passion but it comes with its own set of challenges.
What’s The Biggest Challenge For A Manager At Kick Karate?
“Finding the right people to work with. People hired from the outside typically don’t last because they don’t want to adapt to what makes Kicks Karate so successful.”
Mr. Lee points out that the extended hours of the class schedule and the somewhat non-traditional methods can be difficult for some instructors. And, Kicks Karate needs the perfect fit. Nobody wants the school to become so rigidly disciplined that the joy is sucked right out of it. It has to stay fun!
Looking Back, What Advice Would Mr. Lee Give His Former Self?
He readily admits that it bothers him when kids leave the program, for whatever reasons. Yet, he’s always ready to greet the newcomers with enthusiastic support.
“Make sure you don’t get too stressed out when things aren’t great because the highs are highs, the lows are lows and everything in the end will be okay.”
Making a Difference Is a Tremendous Reward
Mr. Lee recalls the first time he knew he was making a difference. The pride is in his voice as he shares the memory. “I was 15 or 16 and an Assistant Instructor. We had a kid with a black belt who had Down Syndrome. He was not only able to test in front of everybody but he did his form by himself and he nailed it!”
Martial Arts are extremely beneficial for everyone! Males – females – pre-schoolers – seniors – it’s for everybody, as evidenced by the various levels that are achieved by demonstrating learned abilities. And, the benefits are both physical and mental.
The 5 Top Benefits Of Joining Karate Kicks
1. Physical Flexibility
Every session begins with stretching. This holds true even for the youngest of students.
2. Muscle Development
Some simple exercises like sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups condition, strengthen and tone the muscles.
3. Self Confidence
Individual activities and challenges can be tremendous confidence boosters, right from day one!
Determination, concentration, awareness and focus are all integral components of discipline.
Setting goals and reaching them is the formula for success, both in class and in life.
Mr. Lee Answers Some Common Questions about Kicks Karate Classes
Q: What does the word ‘edutainment’ mean?
A: It’s a method of teaching the students whereby they learn without even realizing it. The parents are happy with what the kids are learning and the kids are happy to be learning it. It’s win/win!
Q: What is ‘first time listening’?
A: First Time Listening is a method used to assist in the development of self discipline. The students are verbally instructed to perform a combination of moves. It starts out simple and becomes more complex. It assists in developing memory, concentration and intense focus.
Q: Can Martial Arts lessons be applied in life?
A: The experience leaves you with a stronger mind and body. And, moving up the levels shows strength of character, perseverance, dedication and extreme effort. Putting it on your college application or your job resume will speak volumes!
Q: What’s the maximum age for joining Kicks Karate?
A: There is NO maximum age limit – you’re NEVER TOO OLD for Kicks Karate and Kickboxing!
“If you’re looking for the right time to get started, you’re never going to find it. You’ve got to, at some point, just push yourself to get started. Whether it’s karate or it’s kickboxing, it doesn’t matter, but you’ve got to do something physically to take care of yourself.”
Mr. Lee Shares A Quote By Vince Lombardi
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” What makes it his favorite line of all time?
“I’m a big time believer in hard work and dedication. I’ve been competing about 20 years now and I’ve had some decent success with that. I read that quote when I was about 15 or 16. I thought…wow. That’s what it’s all about!”
Reach Out Now To Begin Your Personal Chase Of Perfection!
For more information, call Mr. Lee at (301) 874-9740 today!
Visit online at KicksKarate.com and Facebook.com/kickskarateurbana
Kicks Karate is located in Urbana’s Giant shopping center, directly across the street from the library. It’s right next to the Urbana Tanning Salon.
Content Provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast #14