In 1998, the Ninja Turtles television show was all the rage. Mr. Rose’s 9-year-old son wanted to be just like them! So, in their town of Athens, Tennessee, he searched for a place where they could train together.
They discovered a newly opened martial arts school and took their first class together. They were hooked from the very first class! They signed up as the first two students ever enrolled in what is now the very successful Grand Master Contreras’ Martial Arts Academy.
Soon after, Mr. Rose also enrolled his other two children, and they trained together as a family. Although he worked the night shift at a nearby factory so he could be with his three children during the day, he trained faithfully several times per week as a new taekwondo student.
After a couple of months, he and his three children progressed to yellow belt, and as the school began to grow and acquire more students, one day he was recruited to assist with teaching a younger student their form. That was the day Mr. Rose taught his very first taekwondo class.
As they progressed in rank, he acquired his Certified Instructor status and began to assist with classes. Over the next few years, Mr. Rose achieved his black belt. He continued to work a full-time job but began to assist more and more as an instructor and decided he would like to pursue this as a full-time career. He was 34 years old when he took his very first martial arts class and he volunteered for six years as an instructor at the Athens, TN academy, while maintaining a full-time job.
A few years later, he accepted a job as a center manager at the Cleveland, TN academy and taught classes there for a few years before transferring to the Hixson, TN academy under Grand Master Rick Hall. He continued to travel from Athens, TN to Hixson, TN weekly to work his full-time job and teach classes.
When the Fort Oglethorpe academy became available due to a change in management, Mr. Rose had the chance to run his own martial arts school. In January of 2010 he took over the Fort Oglethorpe academy and moved to the area from Athens, TN. He had trained as a student, certified instructor, and center manager for 11 years before he had the opportunity to manage his own school.
Today, he is a 6th degree black belt and began his 25th year of training in martial arts this year! The perseverance he has shown to achieve his goals in martial arts is the same lesson that he teaches to his students daily. As Mr. Rose says, “good things happen when we don’t give up!”