Thanks for taking the time to check out our programs! Here's some more information on me personally, the programs' chief instructor, Ben Couch.
I started training in Tae Kwon Do, in Upstate New York, in 1984 when I was 8 years old. I had been bugging my parents to do martial arts for quite some time, and that was my present for my 8th birthday. It remains the greatest present I have ever received.
I graduated from Utica College in 1998 with a degree in English and moved to Arizona the same year to pursue my master's degree in American Literature at the University of Arizona -- I received that degree in 2001. Throughout that time, I had continued studying and progressing in Tae Kwon Do and even started teaching my own program. I had also begun my study of Aikido. Finishing my Master's degree brought me to a crossroads in my life: what to do now? At just about that time, I was approached by a Tae Kwon Do student who asked me about my career aspirations. Soon after, I started working part time for him developing educational programs for retirement communities. Now, 20+ years later, I'm one of the longest tenured employees at the company.
Back to martial arts! In 2006, my parents (who had also moved to Tucson by this time) were volunteering at the local Salvation Army and found out that location's Tae Kwon Do program was floundering: Salvation Army administration was looking for a new instructor. My parents told them I might be interested and that started a great relationship with "The Sal" that lasted for around 10 years. During that time, I met my karate teacher and decided that my students would be better suited in a karate program. We converted somewhere around 2010 from Tae Kwon Do to karate. It was the direction I was headed -- I had fallen in love with karate.
While I was teaching at the Salvation Army, I also started training at the Ryushinkan Dojo in Japanese jujutsu. This kicked off a fantastic friendship with the owner. When the Salvation Army was no longer available as a venue, I moved our program to Ryushinkan where we remain to this day.
The Ryushinkan Dojo provides me with a place where I can volunteer my time and focus on my craft. Because of this, I can teach in the traditional way. This frees me up to focus on the subtleties of the arts methodically and carefully. I can work with a small group of sincere students and focus exclusively on their progress. If this is of interest to you, I hope you'll come see what we're all about.
--Ben Couch, Chief Instructor
Each of the following have received their Fukushidoin (Assistant Instructor) teaching license in our karate program from Couch-sensei after years of personal training and observation of their character. Among other things, they are authorized to conduct class and grant certain promotions on their own.
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