The Tenth Degree with Leon Rogers

What's your typical morning routine?  How do you get your day started off right? 

I like to wake up with a feeling of gratitude for my family, my friends, and all the many blessings in my life, both small and large. When you start your day with gratitude, its hard to have a bad day! My typical day starts by reaching out to my friends in the industry to ask, what can I do today to help you? 

What did you want to be when you grew up? How did you get your work life started?

Like most kids I went through phases - fireman, policeman, and this one may be strange, but I can remember at a very young age thinking I wanted to be an attorney! My first job was sweeping the parking lot for a small business next door to where I grew up. I remember even then taking pride in doing a good job. I think i made 25 cents a day! 

Why the martial arts?  Did you train when you were younger?

Despite my 37 years in the industry, I never formally trained for any long period of time. I did TKD with Master Gary Stevens for about 2 years. Other than that, just some private lessons along the way, having been fortunate enough to be around so many great martial artists. I got into the industry because of my background in manufacturing and engineering. My first job was as a product designer. 

How did you get involved with Century Martial Arts? What did you enjoy most of working for the company?

I guess I answered this one above! The favorite part of my work at Century was when I got to spend 2 years traveling to tournaments and schools and meeting so many awesome people!

How do you define success? Was there a moment when you felt like you really made it?

I would define success as seeing those people around you being successful. I always felt if you focus on helping others be successful, your own success will take care of itself. To this day, I never feel like I have "made it"! There is always more to learn and more work to be done! 

It’s a difficult time to be a business owner this year. What advice would you give to a school owner to keep going during these times?

When times are tough, you just have to double-down. Work harder and smarter and yes, longer, than ever. Invest time in learning. It's a good time to reflect on where you started, where you were pre-pandemic, and where you were going then. As bad as it is, this is temporary; if you can just tread water thru this time and survive, you'll come out on the other side of this bigger and better than ever.

You’re working with us on Black Belt Excellence now. What is it about the program that you’re most excited about?

Two things - one, I am passionate about helping schools be successful and see them change lives and impact their communities. When I looked at BBE, I knew it was a good program for them and would help them. Second, it fit for my own personal values because it helps kids build moral character. There's no greater calling in the world than the one BBE is fulfilling! 

For all the school owners out there…What do you think are some of the most important things to focus on to grow? Marketing? Community outreach?

Both of those things are important, absolutely. Like I said earlier, double-down on those efforts. And focus on building relationships - with your students, their families, and your colleagues in the industry. Relationships are forever. 

What is currently inspiring you and in what way? (book, movie, song, charity, anything really…)

This may sound self-serving, but frankly, I'm following your dad, Mr. Silva, closer than ever. He's always been someone I've looked up to for all he's done for school owners.

How do you end a typical day? What do you do to unwind?

Well, now that I'm blessed to have a home just 5 minutes from the beach, that is my place for unwinding! If I don't make it to the beach, my day typically ends working in my yard, and again, ending as I started - reflecting on all the things I had to be grateful for this day.