I’ve had several students as of late ask about my martial arts biography. Thus, here we go. I began training in Goju-ryu Karate in Anderson, Indiana during September of 1997. Mr. Larry Davenport was my Sensei then and he still is my martial arts mentor. Sensei Davenport was then and still remains one the most recognized martial arts persona and instructor in Central Indiana. He has garnered many awards through the years, and has maintained a full-time karate dojo since the early 1980’s. Bottom line, is that I have an excellent instructor, which has made me a good instructor, with aspirations to be great. Mr. Davenport promoted me to first degree black belt on December 16, 2000, which was a great test, a great honor, and a great accomplishment.
Sadly, I only had six months to train in Sensei Davenport’s dojo for six months after receiving my first degree black belt. During May of 2001 I relocated to Austin. It was a tough decision for one reason and one reason only- I did not want to leave Mr. Davenport’s school so soon, after receiving my black belt. I was a big part of his school at that time, and his school was a massive part of my life. Having that conversation of moving with him was quite difficult, yet he made it very easy, and offered his complete support in the decision to move to Austin.
Quite often Mr. Davenport would have similar situations with his valuable students, and quite often he and said students would lose touch over the years. I am proud to say the Sensei and I have maintained our relationship. We speak weekly, and we see each other every eighteen months for my training. He is a very important figure in my life, and I can honestly say that the day I stepped into his school was the most important decision I have ever made. Everything I am now is because of that moment and the training I received and continue to receive from Mr. Davenport. In 2009 I was awarded my fourth degree black belt in Goju-ryu by Sensei.
In 2001 to 2003 I was living in Austin working regular jobs, and training in Goju-ryu karate on my own. I was fortunate to find a couple of schools during this time that allowed me to spar with their students on a weekly basis. However, I did not find another school or style to train. I searched for a while and then I realized at that time I had enough experience and knowledge to keep my Goju-ryu strong, and I maintained contact with Mr. Davenport.
2004 was a massive year on three fronts. I met my wife. Enough said. I opened the Jett Garner Martial Arts Goju-ryu school in Westlake. Finally, through odd connections I hooked up with Fit and Fearless Krav Maga and began teaching Krav Maga part time. The growth in my school was slow and remained slow for several years. All of the encounters and decisions made in 2004 have made my current realm quite satisfying. I have three beautiful kids with my wife. By summer’s end The Goju-ryu program will have it’s first wait list scenario. During the last 18 months the Goju-ryu program has tripled.
In 2010 I met with Jeff Levine of Fit and Fearless Krav Maga. Through his support and encouragement I made the decision to open a Westlake Fit and Fearless Krav Maga location in tandem with Jett Garner Martial Arts. It has turned out to be a thrilling journey. We have grown much slower than we anticipated, yet in hindsight, I think that has turned into a glorious blessing. In regards to the Krav program we are now primed to double, triple, and eventually quadruple the current membership. My partner and assistant instructor is Greg Shindler whom has brought so many tools, passion, and knowledge to our Krav program. He is a huge part of where we are, and more importantly where we will be in the near future.
I’ve had/have excellent support through karate students and families. I’ve been blessed with a fantastic group of teens and adults in Krav Maga. I could not have asked for a better martial arts instructor in Mr. Larry Davenport. Jeff Levine with Fit and Fearless is a brilliant man whom always offers sound Krav and business advice, with a passion to improve people. Finally, Greg Shindler has been a huge part of our Krav Maga program year one. So, as you can see I have been lucky enough to surround myself with some of the finest martial arts people in the business, and they say success breeds success. Although I am pleased with the membership in both the karate program and the Krav program. I am not satisfied. I will not be satisfied until people flock to martial arts institutions like they flock to Gold’s Gyms. I will never be content as an instructor or leader. I will always press to be better, and I will never allow a student to skate by without real growth, understanding, and self improvement.