Tom Callos is martial arts teacher and business consultant known for his innovative work in martial arts curriculum design, school management, marketing, and teaching concepts. He resides between Hilo, Hawaii and Placerville, California. This interview was conducted on-line, by Dan Sikkens, for Aim High Martial Arts.
Aim High Martial Arts: It’s a pleasure to chat with you Mr. Callos. Where are you today and what are you doing?
Tom Callos: Dan, my family and I are in Sifnos, Greece, staying in the family’s home here. I’ll be here for another month or so, then we’re staying in Florence Italy for a month or two. I’ve come here from Thailand, where we spent a month. I’m basically doing what I do where ever I am. I’m reading, studying people, working out, spending time with my family and friends, and enjoying each day as if it might be my first –or last.
Aim High: I know that you’re a big advocate of martial arts teachers taking on “projects,” what, if any, projects are you working on in your travels?
Tom Callos: The Internet is my workplace, my “dojo,” so I’m working projects that have little to do with where I am physically. At the present I’m working on The 100., which is a graduate level training program for martial arts school owners and teachers. I’m involved, on some level with a number of projects including www.Projabi.com, www.ThinkKindness.org, www.DefeatDiabetes.org, www.UltimateBlackBeltTest.com, www.AngerCoachOnline.com, and www.DietarySelfDefense.com.
What I “do” is help martial arts teacher cultivate their own projects; and these various projects fuel their marketing, management methods, staff training, and their personal drive and passion for what they do. I don’t really tell people what to do to run successful schools, I ask them what they care about, what they want to accomplish, and then I help them create substantive programs to accomplish their goals.
Aim High: It sounds like fun. Do you think these various projects add more work to an instructor or school owners plate?
Tom Callos: No, a good project, done for the right reasons, one that comes right out of the core of someones interests and passions, is the kind of thing that builds and launches spectacular mission-based marketing campaigns, lively staff training programs, and heartfelt methods of management. That kind of work isn’t work at all, it’s something much more important and invigorating. I’m looking to teach school owners how to quit “eating out of the box.” You can’t build a great school or a great career buying other people’s packaged up ideas. Maybe you can build a “good” school that way, but not a great one. The enemy of excellence is “good,” so my work with school owners is about great, fantastic, mind-blowing results, and it all has very little to do with anything that’s just “good.”
Aim High: What are you reading?
Aim High: How would you sum up your approach to the business of teaching martial arts in, Oh say, 20 words or less?
Tom Callos: My life is my dojo.
Tom Callos’s work my may be seen on the following sites:Bellator, featured, MMA NEWS, Strikeforce, strikeforce news, ufc news