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Ben F interviewing Mr Patterson (text)

Ben and Mr Patterson


Ben Ferguson [00:00:01] Hi, I’m Ben Ferguson here interviewing Mr. Patterson, how are you today?


Mr Patterson [00:00:05] Excellent yourself, sir.


Ben Ferguson [00:00:07] I’m great. Let’s get right into it. So we’re going to start with your past in martial arts. So why did you start karate like?


Mr Patterson [00:00:18] I started when I was in my young team somewhere around like 14. It’s something that I had been interested in is actually a really interesting story. When I when I was your about your 11, 12, 13. Wow. My goodness. Anyway, when I was just a little bit older than you, I was. Less of that, less than a happy go lucky person that I am right now is actually very angry young man, and I was actively trying to pick a fight with this guy. His name was Tommy. And he was he was bigger than me. And I didn’t know at that time. But he had martial arts training and was actively training. So he he could have flattened me if he wanted to. So I just kept I just kept bagging him on trying to pick a fight with him. He would not fight me. And he actually told and told me this. He’s like, well, my I’m in martial arts. My instructor says we we don’t start fights. And unless we’re protecting ourself at the time, it made me really angry because I wanted to hit somebody and I wanted to get into a fight because, you know, I was smart like that. But as as the hours and days and weeks progressed, it really kind of intrigued me that that this person who, like I said, could have flattened me, chose not to be not to use his skills to not be violent. So lo and behold, I started asking him some questions. And then not too long after that, I start training with him in his in his same school.


Ben Ferguson [00:01:41] Yeah. In like the don’t don’t pick a fight unless you’re protecting yourself. That’s kind of something that we teach here now. Like it’s not exactly like something that you don’t it’s something you don’t want to do unless you really have to.


Mr Patterson [00:01:54] You absolutely only use your skills when that’s absolutely necessary. Yeah.


Ben Ferguson [00:01:58] OK, so what are you now?


Mr Patterson [00:01:59] I am a showed on first degree black belt in Shawn Rew. I do hold a couple different belts in a couple styles because I trained for four years in Shotokan, three years and shourie rew and then I’ve been training and Shawn real ever since. Here, here it used to be lions but now it’s Premier.


Ben Ferguson [00:02:18] OK, so kind of talk about your martial arts journey to where your, your um first degree black belt.


Mr Patterson [00:02:26] Oh OK. Like I said, I trained for four years in Shotokan and actually that was in southern Mississippi while I was in high school. During that time, my dad was in the military and when he retired from the military, we moved up here and since a nine hundred mile commute to my dojo wasn’t something that was terribly feasible. Unfortunately, I had to kind of put a pause on my training during that time. And, you know, several years passed. And then as I grew up, I become an adult, move out, get married and whatnot like that. I start thinking about once again getting back into the dojo. And I actually ended up joining Robert Bolls here at Urinetown, actually, with my oldest daughter. You may or may not have met. Her name is Ivery. So her and I trained for a little little bit together. She she stopped training after about a year or so, but I continued to train after that and then unfortunately could no longer could no longer afford to train. So I was out of training for another couple of years. And then as I started growing up and becoming like a professional right there, I had, you know, a couple of nickels to rub together right there. So I was wanting to get and thinking about getting back into the dojo. And I was horribly out of way out of shape at that time. So I kind of set a goal for myself to lose a lot of weight, get in a better shape so that I would be able to step onto the mat and, you know, not roll over heaving, heaving for four or every five seconds or something like that. So when I was when I got myself in a little bit better shape. Now, I’m not saying that I know that anybody’s is not in good enough shape to to train because every day we work hard, we’re getting a little bit better. But I started talking to Mr. Cute and just kind of messaging on Facebook back back when it was lions. And, you know, I was reading the reviews. I was talking to him. I was I was looking for some the right answers because, uh, uh, dojos are created equal. So I knew enough to know what to look for and what not to look for in a school. So I decided to jump in and I trained for some years and worked my way up through the belts relatively quickly. Since I had all of that training beforehand, I was able to I was able to move up. Now, I started as a white belt because I don’t I don’t have a problem strapping on a white belt again. You know, I don’t think anybody should be too proud to start over in something new. But as I started kind of getting interested in competition, it really wouldn’t be fair. It wouldn’t be right for me to compete as a white belt with this much experience under my belt. So once again, I, I strapped on my my second degree brown belt, which I which was the the rank that I was oh sorry. Third degree brown about which I was back when I was in, in uh Shotokan that was the highest rank that I had achieved. So a little bit more, a little bit more fair there.


Ben Ferguson [00:05:13] OK, so we’re going to move into your present in martial arts like what you’re doing now. So. How has martial arts exactly affected your life?


Mr Patterson [00:05:26] Well, it kind of a it’s a big part of my life now. Like like I said when I was when I was your age and before I started my journey, I was incredibly different person than I am now. Anybody that knows me, that, you know, knows I’m not a person that’s prone to flying off the handle or whatever. So it’s it’s helped me over the years to become more peaceful, more centered person. Even when I’m crazily frustrated, I have good I have good control over myself. And actually, the job that I had before being an instructor, I worked I worked with people with disabilities for like 15 years. And actually my training helped me out with that because not only was I able to stay calm and potentially dangerous situations, but I was able to safely keep myself safe and other people safe as well. So it didn’t take me long to kind of get a reputation for being able to effectively work for work with clients who were unstable, violent, things like that. So while, you know, when tables, chairs and whatever was flying around and everybody was scared and running around like chickens with their heads cut off, I was calm and centered and could be able to calmly take control of the situation and help the person calm down and help everybody else calm down. And that actually led me to become what’s called a behavior consultant later on. Now, I still work with people with disabilities. Those who know me know that that I’ve been I was in school for quite some time. I actually have a master’s in counseling psychology, but I was kind of like a boots on the ground clinician working as a behaviorist with once again, people who had a lot of issues, who were unstable, who had violent tendencies. And my training in martial arts helped me be able to work really well with that with that population. OK, so


Ben Ferguson [00:07:18] what would you say that you’re at least your least favorite thing about doing martial arts is?


Mr Patterson [00:07:25] Sadly, and I actually thought about this quite a bit because I’m thinking of moving is and, you know, there are things that are awesome. There are things that are growing about it. But honestly, I think the the the thing that that rubs me the the worst way about just kind of the martial arts world in general is that which we would call fake martial arts. And I actually talked about this just a couple of seconds ago where teaching people not only not only to be confident, be calm, they believe in themselves, get in good shape, things like that. But we’re we’re teaching people to defend themselves. So if there are people out there and you guys are seeing them, you know, we can laugh about them a little bit on like YouTube or whatever. But underneath that, they’re teaching people things that they know aren’t going to work. So it’s just like, have you ever heard the term snake oil salesmen?


Ben Ferguson [00:08:14] I have not, actually.


Mr Patterson [00:08:15] OK, so back in back in the day before, like the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, there were, you know, and there are all these guys I would that would have miracle cures or whatever, and they would they would sell people false hope. Well, take what’s in this bottle. Little cure your cancer. It’ll grow your hair back, things like that. What happens is they they were selling people false hope. So not only were people believing in something that they had no business believing in, they stopped searching for something that could actually fix their problem. And what was in that bottle may not have been safe at all. So not only is it not going to fix the problem, it actually may hurt them. And that’s kind of the way I see fake martial arts. They are they are having people believe in something. They’re saying this will help you stay safe and they know darn well it won’t. So these people go out with a false sense of security, thinking that they can handle themselves. And God forbid, they find themselves in a situation where they’re going to have to use those skills and learn the hard way that what they’ve learned will not work. Yeah, so it could be very, very dangerous. Yeah, they’re they’re making a quick buck or whatever, but in the long term they could they could be doing something that’s really, really dangerous to people. And I’m like I’m morally opposed to that. So that’s that’s my soapbox speech right there.


Ben Ferguson [00:09:31] OK, so what do you say your most favorite thing to do in martial arts


Mr Patterson [00:09:37] is a is everything a good answer?


Ben Ferguson [00:09:41] A big one.


Mr Patterson [00:09:41] Yeah, I know. I know. I know. Well, as you as you’ve seen, there are a lot of different things that we can go into martial arts. We can go we can lean on more of the self side. We can lean more on the competition side. We can lean more on, you know, kind of the traditional side. All of it’s really, really cool. And it has it and it has all its things that are really amazing about it. I think it’s really cool to delve into kind of the history of martial arts because it’s really interesting to see where what we do came from. Now, you know, obviously what we do at premiere actually pulls from a lot of different places. People are stand up fighting for moiety and also from old school karate right there, specifically like Shora Chandru and also some taekwando as well. We pull our Krav Maga, we pull our self-defense is from Krav Maga, which is actually an Israeli system, which is also kind of a conglomeration of a lot of stuff. It’s a you know, Krav Maga is kind of like a different a different something like, you know, which which in that it pulls from what works and it discards what doesn’t use what works and get rid of what doesn’t. But we also pull our ground defenses from Brazilian jujitsu, which also has a lot of its roots as well. So you know what we do from day to day as a whole, heck of a lot of history and also the SCREAMO, which comes from the Philippines, which I got to tell you, I love me some screamo.


Ben Ferguson [00:11:07] I do too


Mr Patterson [00:11:09] But it’s essentially just almost a history lesson in everything that we do.


Ben Ferguson [00:11:15] Yeah. Like, it’s when you start to look at, like, the big picture at Premier, it’s a lot of things like blending together into one of our sort of I don’t know what you would call it, but like one big martial art of like a bunch of different things. Yeah. So can you sort of describe how is premier of family?


Mr Patterson [00:11:35] Well, you know, it’s not just something that’s on our shirts. We, um, uh, it’s it’s how we interact with each other on the mat during class, after class, before class. We have, you know, all those extra events, things like that. We have different teams. We have our black but our black belt training program, which is kind of which, you know, we have our basic program, which, you know, everybody everybody is in. But the hope is that they’ll become black trainers right there and, you know, kind of take that big leap, you know, be in it to win it. That’s the term I used to be in it, to win it. And as your as your training with other people, we’re not just standing next to folks in line right there. We we actually take a really intentional approach to building those relationships between people. I mean, there’s a lot of people that I’m sure are in your class that you’re friends with, that you met on the mat. And as we as we train together, you know, people that kind of go through hardships together, you know, a million billion zillion pushups or sit ups or whatever, you kind of form that bond. You really do. And, um, we also have, like our online communities, we like like our members Facebook page and all the other all the other teams like our leadership team. You know, you’ve been in those meetings. It’s like a little family. Yes. We get to know each other. We we, uh, we build relationships with with each other. A lot of those folks are on our competition team. We we jetset all over. So we take a really intentional approach to building that family. That’s our support system that that helps us out. I know a lot of people that if they’re feeling down or if things are getting a little hard for each other, that we message back and forth or we call each other, text each other or, you know, a lot of our students, they go out on excursions like a couple of my a couple of my adult students. They’ve gone on numerous hiking trips together, you know, going out, getting lost in the woods for several hours or even a couple of days at a time. So it’s in those ways that we’re that we’re really kind of a family.


Ben Ferguson [00:13:34] Yeah. So we a premier, we have the same one team, one family. So we aren’t just a team that trains together on the mat and we go home, we do our separate things if someone needs help with so I don’t know, something outside of martial arts, I’m sure that somebody from Premier would go and be like, hey, I can help.


Mr Patterson [00:13:54] And I’ve seen several examples of that.


Ben Ferguson [00:13:56] Yeah, OK, so we’re going to move into your future and mercy.


Mr Patterson [00:14:02] All right.


Ben Ferguson [00:14:03] OK, so what do you see yourself doing in the future?


Mr Patterson [00:14:06] Well, oh I thought about that. Obviously I have no intention of of doing anything but teaching. I thought about ownership. I’m kind of on the fence right. Right here. If I’m able to, you know, handle all the paperwork and stuff like that, I’ll tell you when, uh, Mr. Coon is one of those people that can handle, like, a million things at the same time right there. I’m not sure how he does it. But I’ve thought about that continuing my own journey right there, because if you’re not learning, you’re you’re kind of regressing right there. So I’m I’m working to learn new things. And every every day I seek to learn new stuff right here. So I’m I continue to try to be a better martial artist. I’m I’m working towards actually my second degree black belt right here. We’re not 100 percent sure what the what the data is right right now, but I’m working towards that. But I’m working to just be a better, better martial artist and a better instructor at the at the same time. And that’s that’s the big thing for me is to be a better instructor. Each day I try to do a better job than the day prior to helping my students. Yeah.


Ben Ferguson [00:15:11] OK, so we’re going to go out go out of martial arts, some of the things that you like to do outside of martial arts. So. What are some of the things that you like to do outside of karate?


Mr Patterson [00:15:24] Oh, yeah, actually, I mentioned some of my students go hiking. I enjoy doing that as well. Uh, uh, from from time to time or as often as I can. And I just find different different places to just get out and just wander in the woods and hope I don’t get lost. Yeah. Yeah, I, I, I do a tiny bit of gaming from time to time if I’m too tired to do anything else. But, uh, I’m a pretty active reader. Uh, I, I’m actually a musician. I play a couple of different instruments, primarily a play like, uh, bass guitar and also acoustic. And I pretend to play electric guitar, but I’m not very good at. But let me see, what else is it that I do. My goodness. Uh, I’m actually very active, uh uh, in leading, uh, uh, in our youth ministry at my church. Uh, so, uh, so I do some leadership there, which I have. I’ve been doing youth ministry for quite some time. So those are some things that I do. Yeah.


Ben Ferguson [00:16:22] And what are some of your favorite things about yourself, like some of your best qualities that you think you have?


Mr Patterson [00:16:28] Well, uh, you know, there’s two two really big things that I feel are areas of strength for me. Uh, and that’s that’s teaching and encouragement. That’s if I look back through my history, not only as an instructor, but as a as a as a behavior consultant. Like I talked about working with people with disabilities. Uh, my ministry experience, those are the two things that I typically find myself I find myself gravitating towards, is teaching and and encouragement. I get to essentially I get to essentially be an encourager for a living.


Ben Ferguson [00:17:01] OK, so what how would you describe yourself, like, if you were like, oh, I don’t know, job interview. And they ask you, how would you describe yourself? What would you say?


Mr Patterson [00:17:12] Uh hmm. You have those those terms that everybody wants to hear all about work or whatever? I do, I, I do find myself to be a hard worker. I wouldn’t get to get to where I am without being being willing to roll up my sleeves right there. Uh, but I, I that’s a good question. I find that I’m pretty versatile person. I can I can usually get good at a lot of different things. So I’m typically that person that pretty good. It is pretty good at that. Pretty good at that. And I’m uh I’m kind of like a jack of all trades and a master of none. I think that probably is a good way to to describe myself.


Ben Ferguson [00:17:53] OK, um, OK, this is it for this interview, we’ll see you next time by.

Premier Martial Arts has been in business for more than 20 years, and since our founding in 1998 we have helped thousands of students of all ages realize their full potential. Premier Martial Arts delivers a best-in-class martial arts experience that helps our students develop the personal skills that are necessary to build a successful life. Our mastery of teaching martial arts over the past two decades is evident in our structured and thorough curriculum, which is standardized across our 100+ locations across the United States, Canada and England.

Our curriculum focuses on character development far beyond the importance of self-defense. We teach our young students how to respect their elders, how to be accountable, how to focus and how to stay in shape in a fun and exciting atmosphere. We empower our adult students with the self-confidence to overcome anxieties and trauma, in an environment that fosters inclusion and social belonging.

Premier Martial Arts Fort Wayne founded in 2015 by 6th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor Ron Kuhn. Master Kuhn had a distinguished management & engineering career working for such companies as Verizon, NIPSCO, Frontier Communications and Mediacom. In 2019 he made the decision to operate his Martial Arts School fulltime which has always been his lifelong dream. That one location has grown to three in the City of Fort Wayne.


Master Ron Kuhn is married to his wife Anita (retired Special Needs Teacher) of 27 years. They have three wonderful daughters, Jordan, Ally and Katie. Jordan is a nurse who lives in Indianapolis. Ally has a computer science and business background and works with her dad at Premier Martial Arts. Katie is Chemical Engineering graduate and works in the pharmaceutical industry in Indianapolis.


Premier Martial Arts of Fort Wayne operates three locations:

North – 10240 Coldwater Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46825 (Coldwater & DuPont)

East – 10154 Maysville Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46835 (Chapel Hill Area)

Southwest – 9906 Illinois Road Fort Wayne, IN 46804 (Scott & Illinois Road)




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