A Quick Interview with Master Charles Mann III

Charles Mann

Charles Mann

5TH DAN BLACK BELT
  • Dragon Gym Martial Arts & Fitness
  • 235 Lancaster Ave., Malvern, PA 19355
  • (610) 363-7575

When did you first become interested in Martial Arts training?  

I started in Martial arts at the age of 12, I always played sports as a child (football, baseball, wrestling, etc..) I started martial arts to improve my focus and agility. Little did I know at that age how it would influence my every day life in countless ways.

Why did you decide to enroll at the Dragon Gym.

I had known about the Dragon Gym for many years prior and I had taken a 10 year hiatus from Martial Arts at the time. Knowing their reputation I decided to stop in and see their approach to the Arts. Once I sat down with Grand Master Goh and took my first class I was hooked.

How did you get involved with teaching/becoming an instructor?  

As I advanced through the ranks we always helped the lower ranking students when they had questions about Poom Sae’s or self defense techniques. At around 3rd Degree I was asked by Grand Master Goh and Somnath Sikdar to think about becoming an instructor. I was honored that they would ask and agreed. The process was mentally and physically challenging. Many hours of training and instructing. I was lucky enough to go through the process with 3 other close friends at the gym.

We pushed each other through and spent years teaching under Master Somnath and learning how to help students from all levels.

Tell me a little bit more about your training regimen, including cross training

I have always lifted weights along with training martial arts. I didn’t know that was cross training it was just what I did. Now I sprinkle in some limited Jiu Jitsu and Hapkido. At an older age (over 50) it is about moderation and consistency. But still pushing yourself to achieve goals.

What would your advice be for someone considering Martial Arts

First don’t be afraid – you can do this – Dragon Gym is a family not a gym.

Remember this is a life style, there are many more benefits socially than physically. Although you will be pushed physically.

Show up and set goals and work towards your goals

Do not quit!

 What about someone with ambitions of becoming a Martial Arts instructor?

I always said this to myself while working towards becoming an instructor and it still pushes me today:

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of will.”   - Vince Lombardi

Becoming an instructor is a great honor, the rewards of becoming one is far less than the rewards of helping and seeing others attain their goals!  The satisfaction of experiencing someone lift their expectations and helping them reach them with all of their struggles and setbacks. It is something I can’t measure. It is humbling to see.

What kind of benefits have you received from your Martial Arts training at Dragon Gym?

I think what I have said throughout this conversation is I have made life long friends. I have obviously attained a certain level of physical strength. My relationships with the people I trained with are deeper because of the struggles we went through.

It has also allowed me to be more compassionate towards people in general. Even though you learn skills to defend yourself, you also realize that you hopefully never need to use it. And that being respectful and caring towards others is most important.  

What’s your next goal?

To help others achieve their goals. There is nothing more rewarding than showing someone that they can achieve anything they want and sharing your story to help.

 I like to tell everyone I teach that I made it to 5th Dan not because I am faster, stronger, more flexible. Because in many cases I am not, but I made it because I didn’t quit.

Charles is the Head Master at Dragon Gym Malvern

After decades of martial arts training and as a father, he has decided to take his dedication and involvement to the next level.  Like all DG Locations, Dragon Gym Malvern specializes in Kids Martial Arts and helping children to become Happy, Healthy and Successful in life.  Dragon Gym Malvern also offers Traditional Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Classes for Adults.