Welcome back to Gracie Meets…! I’ve been waiting for this day to come, MY FIRST INTERVIEW!!! Today, I interviewed Ms. Faith Gordon from HERO Martial Arts Academy in Spring, Texas, and it is a very worth-while listen. I learned a lot in my first interview, and I hope you will too.
Cover Art: Kyleigh Kinsey. Instagram: @ato._.noodle
0:00 – Intro Music
Gracie – 0:12
Hello, and welcome back to Gracie Meets. I know most of you guys are probably tired of just eating the side dish to the show the interview tips. So today I’m diving straight into the main course, the interviews. The interviews are what caused me to start this podcast in the first place. So I’m very excited to announce the first interviewee Ms. Faith Gordon.
Faith – 0:36
Hey, thank you so much for inviting me and letting me do this interview for you. My name is Faith Gordon. I’m a professional martial arts instructor and school operator at Hero Martial Arts Academy, and I’m 28 years old.
Gracie – 0:48
I know it sounds pretty self-explanatory, but how would you describe your job to a teenager like myself?
Faith – 0:54
So my job is pretty awesome. It’s basically I have the privilege of teaching anybody from the age of like four all the way up to, you know, as old as they get martial arts skills and how to become a better person and defend themselves better and just live their lives the best they can through the martial arts and help them develop the confidence in themselves to live their best life.
Gracie – 1:16
That’s great. What are some ways that make your job more unique than say, a doctor or a film director?
Faith – 1:22
Well, that’s a great question. I think one really big thing that makes my job unique is that it’s kind of like a hobby job. So something similar to like being an artist or, or a, like a singer or something like that. It’s something that kind of starts out as a hobby. You start training in martial arts, and from there, you develop a love for it. And I honestly never even thought about teaching martial arts until later on, but I’m sure I’ll get to that part later. But I think that’s one of the biggest things that makes it stand out, of course, our uniforms and the fact that we get to break boards and stuff like that too
Gracie – 1:53
That’s so cool. Were there any schooling or training requirements to become a martial arts instructor or were you just able to become with time?
Faith – 2:02
Yeah, yeah, definitely there is. So obviously you have to train and know martial arts to teach it right? You can’t teach something you don’t have, we always like, explain it like this. Like if I, if I don’t have a pen, I can’t give you a pen, right? So I have to know and be equipped with some of the skills first, right? So that’s the first step is to start training. I wasn’t a black belt when I started teaching. So you don’t have to necessarily be a black belt, you just have to be a really good communicator, and someone who’s, you know, dedicated to training and leading by example, in that way too. So that would be the first step. And then also, we have what we call our leadership training program. And I remember I was the oldest person in that program for a long time because it was right when Hero first opened. So I was like, 18 years old, my class was like 10 years old. But it was that’s where I started. It’s just learning. You know, how to hold targets how to basically like public speaking skills, how to lead a group of students, and then you know, just practicing and helping out in classes for a long time until I went through enough training in earn my stripes was able to teach by myself.
Gracie – 3:05
I see, so how long did your training take?
Faith – 3:07
So my training for the for, for my black belt is a minimum of three years, but my training for my job really was maybe like a year into it. So depending on your age and your ability level and things like that, it’ll take a certain amount of time. So for instance, we have kids starting our leadership program at eight right now, who if they go through the whole entire thing, for instance, we have our leadership program, we have a future instructor program, that starts to teach them more advanced leadership and teaching skills. And then we also have our Hero instructor training program, our hit program, which is where you really learn how to really teach large groups and manage a big, you know, classroom of students and also learning how to maybe even operate your school and different management skills in that course too. So that could take you know, maybe like upwards of like 10 years, if you went all in like eight years old all the way all the way through, but for me, I would say for me to get to the point where I was teaching full time, that’s all it took, like about a year or so. And then for me to get to the point where I was managing and operating the school, I would say about five years.
Gracie – 4:10
Wow. What is your work environment like at the dojo?
Faith – 4:14
Oh, it’s awesome. It’s awesome. And I’m around a lot of positive people all the time. People are really supportive in helping me maintain a positive mindset and always make sure I’m bettering myself, you know, we have awesome team. We like to hire likeminded people. Everyone on the team is really supportive. And it’s a really great work environment. I think also, it’s really fun working with kids and, and just families that are all likeminded as well, and just everybody’s super supportive and always, you know, positive too. I think that makes a huge difference in anybody’s life. Because when you know, you’re going to go home and you’ll spend a lot of time at home but as you get older, you’re going to spend a lot of time at work. So it’s super important to make sure that you’re taking a job that that you’re passionate about, right? And that, yeah, isn’t only just gonna make you a lot of money, but something that you’re passionate about and then people they’re gonna, you know, help you live your best life too.
Gracie – 5:10
That’s great. Why did you pick this profession? And when was the switch flipped that made you know, this is what you wanted to do with your future?
Faith – 5:19
Um, honestly, when I graduated high school, I went to school I went to Sam Houston for like a semester, decided that wasn’t really the route I wanted to go on to be a nurse and I changed on my way to be a teacher and I knew what I wanted to do. And I was training martial arts that at the time, and I got offered a job at Hero so I took it and my first job out here, I was just working the front desk and taking payments, you know, making phone calls, stuff like that. And I think I just, you know, I was training martial arts. I liked it and, and Master Arcemont, my boss, told me that he saw something in me, and I think, you know, for the first time somebody had told me they believed in me, and so I was like, I’ll try it I was really nervous actually didn’t even want to teach martial arts, I was like, crying, I didn’t really want to do it. At first I just wanted to, like, you know, do my thing. And but once he convinced me to do it, I kind of realized that I was capable of much more than I gave myself credit for. So I’m really shy person. And I, I was I tended to steer clear of like standing in front of crowds and doing anything. But through this, it definitely helped me, you know, gain confidence in myself and realize that I’m capable of doing much more than I ever thought I could. So but anyway, when I first started teaching, I realized you know what, I kind of like this. I love watching people grow and, and what the martial arts has done for me, and I want to help give that to other people too. So I think, you know, when I was like, 21, I made the commitment to dedicate the rest of my life to, you know, teaching the martial arts and becoming the best I could be at that. So that was probably the age that it happened, but honestly, I didn’t even know what I wanted to do for a while there and I just kind of started doing it and it just kind of happened you know?
Gracie – 7:00
It’s so cool how people will come into your life and push you, and you don’t really know how it affects you until you know that this is what you want to do.
Faith – 7:10
Oh, yeah, so it’s crazy. And it’s cool. Like, now I’m hopefully I’m that person for people, you know. So it’s like, and now I can see myself doing that for others. And, you know, it took me a while to get where I am today. But that’s only because, you know, Hero was, it was just starting out when I joined. So yeah, I think you know, for others now, it’s really cool for me because I get to see, I get to now train other instructors and watch them go through the same path I did, but except they get to do it quicker because we’ve learned and we’re able to be more efficient with training people. But that’s definitely really cool.
Gracie – 7:43
So how would a high schooler like me become someone like you?
Faith – 7:47
Um, it’s specifically thinking about martial arts and being a martial arts instructor. You definitely want to first start off by finding the school that’s right for you. I can suggest one for you! Definitely, yeah, start training and be brave, you know, martial arts training kind of just initially sound intimidating and feel intimidating, but to go to the right place, then it won’t be you’ll have a great time and, and you’ll learn a lot about yourself and others. And then from there, you’ll just want to ask if they have any kind of training program or advanced like Leadership Program that’ll help you get there. And yeah, that’s like the best way to start is just by, you know, taking that first leap of faith, you know? But definitely, that would be the first place to start right there.
Gracie – 8:30
You know what everyone says, when it comes to a sport… practice, practice, practice. And it looks like this is no exception.
Faith – 8:37
Oh, yeah. And trust me when I say like, I’m not the most talented. I mean, I have my talents and I have my skills. But there were many instructors that were there before I was there. Or were helping out or people that were, you know, more skilled than me in class, but I made it as far as I am today. Just because I just didn’t give up. You know, so hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. And that’s for sure.
Gracie – 9:00
I love that quote! It applies to a career as well as life in general. I think that’s a great way to end my first interview. I like to thank you so much Ms. Faith for being on Gracie Meets. This means a lot to me and I’m so glad you gave me the opportunity to interview you.
Faith – 9:17
Thank you have this is a lot of fun, so I really appreciate it. Let me know if you need anything in the future.
Gracie – 9:24
This was a great way to kick off the first interview of Gracie Meets. I personally never would have thought of turning a hobby like martial arts into a job. That’s what makes this job so unique. And that’s perfect because there’s no such thing as a normal teenager. Thanks for listening.
Outro Music – 9:35
Gracie – 9:41
Thanks for tuning in. If you like Gracie Meets, subscribe so you can listen every time a new episode is dropped and follow Gracie Meets… on Instagram at gracie.meets (gracie dot meets). Tune in next Saturday for an interesting interview with a Senior Crisis Management Specialist.