“It’s a whole new [thing] to teach something, [rather] than to learn it,” says 20-year-old Seth Fawley, owner and head instructor of Elite Martial Arts in Bridgewater.
He opened his Bridgewater business in March 2012, when he was 19. Originally from Bridgewater, Fawley took his first martial arts class when he was 7.
He said he left that first session with a new purpose in life: “[I knew] this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Seth says he enjoys both aspects of his career, teaching and business.
Though, he says, a lot of instructors hide the business portion of running a dojo, he chooses to do the opposite: As students become more experienced, they begin to teach classes.
“I have two purple belts who are both in fifth grade, that teach full classes by themselves,” says Fawley.
Martial arts is more beneficial than a lot of people think, he says. Classes offer more than fighting skills, including respect, confidence and discipline.
“The students have to have the ability to change their paths on their own. ... As long as they continue [to work], they will continue to benefit,” says Fawley.
"He makes it fun, he’s a good teacher — I guess that’s why I like it so much,” says Aaron Lolney, 11, a student of Fawley's.
Small Town, Big Aspirations
Fawley enjoys teaching in a small town.
“[It's a] close knit group of kids ... They practice together after school, and their parents all know each other. It’s a way to include the community.”
Fawley will be represent Bridgewater and Elite Martial Arts when he competes in the National Blackbelt League. He hopes to get some of his students involved in the future.
Fawley currently has a local sponsor, but is accepting others. For more information, contact Seth Fawley, Owner/Head Instructor at Elite Martial Arts, 101 South Main St., Bridgewater. Or call (540) 292-5353.
Contact Aimee George at 574-6292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.