Martial Arts Instructor Sam ColeBullying can have an impact on a child’s life that can last long after the actual incident of bullying is over.

But, like this story illustrates, bullying doesn’t always have a negative effect; sometimes, it can shape you for the better, even if you can’t see it at the time.

This is a great story of someone who was bullied as a child – then became a bully out of self-preservation – found the martial arts, and is now helping others as a martial arts instructor:

“When I was 8 years old, I was bullied by kids in a neighboring school. Physical confrontations were common, and there were many instances of full on fist fights on the playground. This went on for about a year before my family moved away to Los Angeles, where I became what I feared most- A bully.

Using intimidation to protect myself from others attacking me, physically or verbally, I became a menace to my classroom. With a lack of self control and confidence, my schoolwork faltered and my behavior was unacceptable. My teachers disliked me and I had very few friends… The ones I had were merely associates in my shenanigans and had no real character and even less morality when it came to “right and wrong”.

I was truly on a path of destruction that would soon spiral out of control. In a new environment, in a new country, with low self esteem and even less control over my emotions, I was miserable. 

Down the street from my school, my mother had found a martial arts school and had asked me how I felt about starting a martial arts class. I was a huge fan of the Power Rangers and other action shows, but I wasn’t thrilled by the idea of learning from someone. So, kicking and screaming, my mother dragged me to the studio I would later call my second home.

I found solace in the Dojo. New direction. It was as if someone shot me with a bolt of lightning, and I had all the excitement I had missed in the last 2 years (I was 10 at the time) flood over me at once. The group classes introduced me to a new group of people with more positive goals and outlooks. The private lessons taught me self control and discipline. My instructor brought me under her wing and taught me my most valuable life lessons. I had found a new family, and a new trail to tread that would later prove to propel me into life, prepared and determined. 

I was a blue belt, and I was taking my private class where we were working on kicking bags when my Instructor asked me what I planned on becoming when I grow up. My response was immediate, and I replied with “I want to teach Karate”.

“We will make it happen.” She said.

By age 15, I was assisting in private and group instruction, and cleaning the studio regularly as well as helping with events in the community. Soon after I was a part time instructor and preparing to take on a full-time teaching schedule. My mentor, Jenn Herzog, gave me the skills I needed to take the reigns and take control of my direction. She never spoon fed me and never told me what exactly to do, but she gave me the tools to know what I wanted and where I needed to go to get it!

I will never regret starting martial arts, nor will I forget the investment of my instructors in training me. “

Sam Cole
Chief Instructor
Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios
Agoura Hills

Wow.  Great story of a journey from victim to victor; Sensei Sam is now helping others discover the power of the martial arts as an instructor.

Whatever your journey, if you think you have what it takes to step up, challenge yourself and become a martial arts instructor, now is your chance.

Go to and register for more details on the Z-Ultimate Boot Camp, starting July 15th at National Headquarters.


Master Huff
Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios National Headquarters

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