Congratulations to Matt Castillo on his promotion to Sensei!
Matt is a great example of growth within the Tiger Schulmann’s family. He originally came in to spar on weekends, with little boxing experience and quickly saw that TSMA was a perfect fit for him.
At one point he in his life he was dealing with a lot of adversity, both personally and with his family. He felt he should be farther along in his career path as for someone his age. He continued his training but left to work in automotive finance, but quickly saw what working in a different environment was like and realized TSMA was his calling so he came back and threw himself into it 100%.
Within a short period of time, he was given the opportunity to take over our Huntington location. This was a school that had been decimated by the previous instructor – it was in a deep financial hole with only about 60 paying students. Within a year and a half he dug the school out of the hole, doubling enrollment and transforming it into a highly profitable school.
The Path To Sensei
Matt is extremely personable and well liked throughout the organization. We all know Matt to be a tough and talented martial artist. Throughout his journey from student to school owner he always kept up with his training, despite many injuries. He served as one of Lyman’s partners helping him get ready for his fights and his test for black belt was long and difficult but he rose to the occasion.
Matt has created an amazing environment in his school. The school is disciplined, professional, well organized and above all like a family. His students rave about him. He has begun to turn out some very dedicated and talented students who he is mentoring to be instructors and competitors. His school has been very successful in the COC placing in his schools division in the team competition in the last tournament and producing a winner in the last 90 day challenge.
Taking Over Huntington
When he first took over our Huntington school it was quite a struggle and there were times when he was doubtful and worried about the future, believe me we had many long conversations about the path he was on, but he never let those negative thoughts hold him back. Matt epitomizes the non quitting spirit and provides an excellent example for us all of what can be accomplished with hard work and dedication.
A sensei is a teacher, role model, mentor, guru and leader by example. Matt is all of those things and more. He truly deserves the title.