Students who learn martial arts at Rickâs Kick are in for a lot more than belts. Owner Rick Goss aims to teach integrity and character even more so than kicks and punches. Located at 9229 Lebanon Road, Rickâs Kicks is open to all skill levels and ages.
How did you get started in martial arts?
I got started when I was about 7 years old. My parents hosted a foreign exchange student from Okinawa. He â unbeknownst to usâ was a martial arts teacher. He decided to start teaching karate at a recreation center that was right by my house and went to church with us. So living in my house for a year, he showed us his customs, and thatâs how I got started in karate.Â
As I understand it, there are severalÂ disciplines in martial arts. Â
What are your specialties?
Iâve trained in many different martial arts. There are different cultures that offer different martial arts. I try to be well-rounded in Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Western boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and wrestling. I try to be a student of the arts rather than just being a singular student, I try to make myself as well-informed as I can on different martial arts skills, so that way I know what each one has to offerâ its strengths and its weaknesses. Then I try to find the most presentable and easiest way to present that to my students without getting into a lot of skills that donât translate into real life. I try to teach pretty functional martial arts.
When did you start Rickâs Kicks, and how has the experience been for you?
I started Ricks Kicks in 1998. Iâve been very blessed. Iâve always felt like working with children was going to be something that I was comfortable with. My mom was a school teacher, my sister was a schoolteacher, my uncles and aunts all taught at universities and high schools. I guess teaching runs in my blood. Coming from my background, the family that I grew up in, I find a great deal of incentive and passion in trying to help the next generation. Without being too cliche, I just want to make a difference in these kidsâ lives.Â
What is your proudestÂ moment as a martial artist?
Iâm not really driven by accolades or tangible things like belts. I think theyâre important for a lot of people to know that theyâre achieving their goal. I think my most rewarding thing is itâs an honor being able to teach. To be able to wake up and live life on my own term and be able to do what I love to do, and to be able to do something that I feel is actually making a difference in the world with kids.
Whatâs the most challenging aspectÂ of operating a martial arts studio?
You want to reach every student and teach them the way that they learn best. And for me, itâs a challenge to know all of the different frequencies and spectrums of students that I…