Alex Changho is the founder of Revolution, the business consulting group that helps business owners, coaches and consultants get more out of their businesses. He’s the best selling author of the Bullyproof book series, and an expert on leadership development.
Alex started martial arts as a 10 year old. His father always wanted him to do it, but Alex had no interest in it.
“(My dad) actually made me do it; sometimes you have to force your kids to do something.”
He was hooked after the first class, and it only took Alex 1.5 years to get his black belt, after going to the club every single day.
Teaching others became a “natural thing” for Alex. Even at 11, he was helping around the club, warming up the class, teaching new kids. At 16, he could run the classes on his own. At 18 he moved away for college, he came back home during the summers to run the karate school, and started his own dojo just before graduating college.
“I realized this is what I wanted to do, impacting people and making a difference”
Alex feels that someone who can develop other leaders is a good measurement of leadership skills.
“One of the things that was always important to me was teaching and helping people; by me mentoring other people, I can multiple the impact.”
Superhero: Luke Skywalker
Cartoon: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
“I could watch them every single day”
Video Game: The Legend of Zelda
Family Tradition: Hanging out with family over holidays and eating together all day
Motivation as a Child: to get good grades and make his parents proud
Embarrassing Moment: 1st grade had to go to the bathroom, and sat on the urinal. A classmate walked in on him and saw his superhero underwear.
Parents Parenting Style: they weren’t strict
“They didn’t have to be super-strict with me. I got away with a lot of stuff, but I wasn’t a huge risk taker”
Big Struggle: being one of only four Asian children at his school
“No one really treated me different, but I felt different. I just wanted to be the same as everyone else.”
Alex didn’t have a lot of self-esteem for a long time. He didn’t let his classmates know he did martial arts until 7th grade, because he thought they were going to try to mess with him if they knew.
“Building confidence takes a long time. It’s not something that happens right away.”
Some people treat martial arts as just an activity, which he says is ok, but to expect average-type results if this is how it’s approached.
“Invest the time, money and energy to get the most results”
He feels that the way a parent treats the program is as important, if not more, as the program itself, and he recommends that children try different activities to see what they are truly interested in.
He feels that being bullyproof comes down to one thing, confidence. A few ways parents can build confidence in their children are to encourage them in an authentic manner, and to get them involved in something that will challenge them.
“Confidence is built through overcoming challenges”
The youngest student that Alex has worked with was 2.5 years old, but he feels that the age of 4 is a great time to start martial arts.
“They’re old enough to be able to do stuff physically, but they’re young enough not to have all the emotional baggage that we do as grownups”
He feels reading his book is a great start, but a kid is not going to be bullyproof by reading a book.
“It’s the action that’s going to make the difference”
INTERVIEW LINKS: www.AlexChangho.com