45 Years Later
Our years as a Martial Arts Family
45 Years in Business with my family
By Kathy Olevsky
Today is one of those many days where I sit down to write and realize that I have had a great life filled with daily martial arts. In early 2019, Mr. Olevsky and I will celebate the 45th Year that Karate International has been open in the Triangle. His instructor, Mr. Jan Wellendorf opened Karate International of Raleigh in 1974. Mr. O. and I took over the school from Mr. Wellendorf in 1979.
We came back from the trip and have been in the business of the martial arts ever since. Our school has been open from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm every day. There were children that came along and now grandchildren. We have made our share of mistakes and had our share of successes. As a matter of fact, I write a column for a national magazine every month about all the mistakes I’ve made as a small business owner. I have never run out of material in the seven years I’ve written this monthly column.
Today I decided I should write about the successes. I have spent a lifetime in business with my family. First it was just Mr. O and I. Eventually, Josh came into the business, sweeping the floors as a 15 year old. After Josh graduated from High School, he went his own way in the world and within a few years, our daughter Casey started working at our front counter. We have had various other family members work for us over the years. Some of you may know our nephew, Brian Bass who used to teach for us.
Obviously, Mr. Josh decided that the family business was not so bad after all and he has been working with us for the past 19 years. Casey went on to college and has graduated and started her own business and is living in Washington, DC. We have a great family dynamic and we all have grown to be successful and happy through this business. Mr. O and I are lucky enough to be requested as speakers and instructors at martial arts events all over the world. We have traveled the US and have been to Europe and Australia.
Our greatest successes, however, are our students. We have watched timid beginner students as children grow into confident Black Belt adults. We have taught the grandchildren of people that Mr. O and I taught when they were just children. We have Black Belts like Mr. Moss, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Buckmaster, Mr. Maidon, Ms. Fowler and Ms. Horne, who have trained in our dojo forever. There are too many to name in a few short sentences.
Our success is that our business has always allowed us to have an extended family through our students. We have cherished the 45 years and we look forward to all the years ahead. As most of you know, Mr. O will never quench his thirst for martial arts knowledge. We are happy all of you have shared some time with us and we look forward to teaching your children and grandchildren!