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The Tenth Degree with Paul Garcia
What's your typical morning routine?  How do you get your day started off right?
I'm an early riser. I enjoy getting up around 6/6:30 and having coffee while I read my Bible.

When and why did you get into martial arts?  Did you train when you were younger? 
Yes, I started when I was 11.  I got into it because my parents insisted that we always get involved in at least one sport per season. I didn't like baseball (not enough action). I had a lot of energy as a kid and my parents thought martial arts would help.

I know you used to have the nickname “Stingo”. Where did that come from and does anyone still call you that? 
It was from my American literary teacher. We were reading a book in which the main character's name was Stingo. He was a boxer. My teacher told me that every great fighter has a tag name and she thought Stingo was a good tag name for me.

How did your first school come about? How have the school’s evolved over the years?
My first school opened in 1989.  I always wanted to run a martial arts school. After being married and having my first daughter, I worked 3rd shift. It wasn't the life I wanted and that job gave me the motivation to open my school. My uncle gave me a $15,000 loan and under the help of a teammate (Cheetch Luzzi) I learned how to run a school.  Later I met Master Silva and he really taught me how to succeed in martial arts business.

How do you define success? Was there a moment when you felt like you really made it? 
This answer has changed over the years. I really don't get caught up in the "success" ideology.  In times past I did.  But now I just try to be faithful. I try to do the best with what's in front of me.

It’s a difficult time to be a business owner this year. What have you been doing to keep your school going? 
Showing up, putting my best foot forward and doing the best with what we can.  I'm not one to back down or have a pity party.  I don't focus on things that are out of my control. I simply do what I can and have the belief that everything happens for a reason. God is in control and my faith in Him will not lead me to despair.

Your recently started making a series of videos with Greg Silva called Prime Time. What kinds of things are you discussing? What would you like to accomplish with this project? 
Honestly, we just want to give back and help.  There is no under-handed motive.  The art and the industry has been so good to us, we just want to volunteer some time to give back and help those who need it.

What advice would you give to your fellow school owners? What has been working well for you these days? 
CULTURE!  Develop a strong culture in your school with your staff.  A culture that loves martial arts, loves people, has a strong, positive work ethic.  I believe this to be the foundation that will sustain any long-term success.

What is currently inspiring you and in what way? (book, movie, song, charity, anything really…) 
I don't want to sound pious but I really get everything I need from my quiet times reading the bible.  My heart is full and God gives me a strong desire to give back and serve.

How do you end a typical day? What do you do to unwind? 
I have a 40 minute drive home.  Usually I will listen to Christian music and review the day in my head.