Get to Know Aspire Taekwondo:
Aspire Taekwondo was founded by Master Roger Willard and Master Len Lawrence in 2014. Since 2014, Aspire Taekwondo has over 30 National Champions in sparring, Poomsae, and board breaking. We have expanded our program to include classes for ages 5 to senior citizens of all abilities or disabilities. 2022 People’s Choice Award for Best Martial Arts Instruction & Location in West Michigan. Call (616)813-6654 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
MORE TO KNOW ABOUT ASPIRE TAEKWONDO FROM OUR UNITE FOR MICHIGAN Q&A:
Q. If you were not in your current role/endeavor, what would you be doing instead?
A. I have chosen my career paths with an emphasis on giving back to the community. My primary employment is as a police officer. Aspire Taekwondo is a passion of mine and another way I can be a good steward. We started Aspire back in 2004 as a form of outreach to help kids within my hometown of Ravenna. As our program has grown, we have expanded our target audience from 10-18 years old. We now have classes for 5yo all the way up to senior citizens. We recently started a Sensory Friendly class to help students who struggle with sensory disorders.
If I was not in my current roles, I would be looking to do something to better my community. I have considered running for local office, but I do not have time to do that at this point in my life.
Q. What has been the biggest impact in your industry or life in the last 5 years?
A. As with many industries, Covid 19 restriction had a major impact on our ability in the fitness/martial arts industry. I have friends that owned martial arts studios in Michigan and around the country, who were unable to stay afloat. We were very fortunate to survive. Once classes were allowed to resume, our very loyal students returned and got back to work. We are now starting to thrive!!
Q. Where do you see yourself or business in 5 years?
A. In 5 years, we hope to be at a point that allows us to provide a variety of services through Taekwondo. I believe in thinking outside the box and see many opportunities to partner with other businesses, schools, and community organizations. I am actively working on some new ideas that I can’t yet share, but stay tuned for future announcements.
Q. Who do you most admire or are inspired by, and why?
A. I am inspired by my partner, Master Len Lawrence. He works harder at perfecting his craft than anyone I know. When we first started training together, Taekwondo did not come naturally to him. Over the years, we have trained thousands of hours together and then he would train even more on his own. Master Lawrence has gone from the guy that asked me not to embarrass him at our 1st belt test to a 6-time National Champion. Master Lawrence is the reigning National Champion in Sport Poomsae and AAU Team Member for Sport Poomsae. It takes great discipline, balance, flexibility, and strength to accomplish being crowned the best in the country.
Q. What organization is top on your list to provide support?
A. We have been partnering with Every Woman’s Place to provide their clients and staff with Women’s Self Defense training. EWP has assisted us with several Women’s Self Defense seminars, educating women on what resources are available to them in their time of need.
Q. What is the biggest need you face in your business or organization today?
A. The biggest need we have is for people to understand that Taekwondo is not just for kids. We have the ability to teach students of all ages 5 and above, including senior citizens. Our expert instructors are trained to teach all skill levels. We are looking to grow our adult student base.