I am so excited for this upcoming year and so grateful for the UpLevel Community. I want to share a few things that my family and I are grateful for this Thanksgiving!
There is not a lot to say about this. I am definitely NOT a rapper but I picked that line.
The UpLevel martial arts community has visions of impacting people all over the world with the life changing benefits of becoming a black belt leader.
This song helps us describe our values and mission in life.
Check it out…
Come join our movement.
Who knows, you might just get a spot in the next song. 🙂
This is how my month started – with this news article being written about the UpLevel team in Charlottesville, VA. (Mr. William Wegert looks so good on camera doesn’t he)
Love month is over but I would like to request that we send our thoughts and prayers towards the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and that we continue to spread acts of kindness.
Every time I hear a siren, I stop and say a short prayer of gratitude for those that keep us safe. Today, I am especially grateful. I want to say a heart felt ‘thank you’ to our police officers, our fire fighters, our rescue teams, our military, and so many others that dedicate their lives to keeping us safe. We are incredibly grateful.
Being a person of action and not just talk, I always feel that UpLevel should ‘do something’ when horrific events happen. After pondering it for a long time, I want to encourage everyone in the UpLevel Tribe to keep doing what you are doing and to get even more involved in spreading the good news of martial arts to more people. Let’s do it with more heart and even more conviction than ever before.
I will tell you why.
UpLevel IS ALREADY taking a stand against the evil in our world. I have seen UpLevel Martial Arts give people something to live for, something to stand for, and a set of values to hold dear. Across our communities, UpLevel is positively impacting so many children when they are young and impressionable. We are teaching the way of being a leader. We are helping people feel better about themselves and their health. We are creating a community of people that is welcoming and that shows love to each person that walks in our doors.
You as our student help us in so many ways – you help us promote the values of a black belt leader. We promote health, confidence, integrity, and living by a code of conduct that includes respect and gratitude.
No one that lives by these values would ever feel like they need to take the life of another person.
I encourage all of our staff and martial arts teams across the world to keep doing what they are doing and continue to work with passion to raise up the next generation of leaders in our world.
Regardless if you are a student at UpLevel, a parent of a student, an instructor in training, or someone on our staff, each and every day you make a difference in the lives of every person that walks through our door. Think about the child that takes your class for the first time, we don’t know what path he is going down and we don’t know if he is going to be the next president of the United States or someone who is headed down a path of crime.
Could the impact of the UpLevel community determine the difference?
I believe it can.
Everyone that comes across our path is a person we get to impact.
Love month may be over at UpLevel as of a couple of days ago but would you continue show acts of kindness above and beyond what we would normally do this week and this month? Would you consider buying a fire fighter lunch, thanking a police officer, donating blood, or perhaps stopping for 5, 10, or even 15 minutes just to talk with a lonely soul.
Thank you in advance for responding and I look forward to how UpLevel will continue to make a difference in this nation for years to come.
As always, I am honored that I have the privilege of leading an organization such as this during times like this.
Unleash and UpLevel – never stop pursuing your better self.
Mr. Sam Wegert
Founder of UpLevel Martial Arts
5th Degree Black Belt
If you look back through history at the stories of great achievements, you will find a common theme: nothing great was ever accomplished alone. People who accomplish great things always have support: mentors, teachers, teammates, friends. The same is true for us as we train for our black belt, or 2nd degree black belt, or instructor status– We can’t do it alone. We have parents, friends, family members, class mates, and instructors who can all encourage us and help us reach our goals.
Here is the truth – everyone is a part of your team. At least, everyone CAN be a part of your team. Think about it: the person who serves you a double chocolate cone at the ice cream shop is on your team. Your spouse is on your team, the person who helps you bag your groceries is on your team. Everyone you interact with over the course of the day can be a part of your road to success, even when you don’t recognize it immediately. Even if they seem like they are the opposite of your teammate: maybe a driver who cuts you off on the road, or the librarian who fines you for turning in your books late — you can choose to let them be a part of your team by choosing to learn something from the situation they are making difficult. At UpLevel we take that belief to heart, and are very intentional about viewing everyone we encounter as a part of our team for success. We are all trying to live our best lives, and we will be able to succeed far more easily if we include others in our game called life and treat everyone as if they were a part of our team.
Watch this video about teamwork – good teamwork often means putting your own desires and wishes aside.
Exercise: Turn to the person next to you and tell them about 5 different people who you view as part of your team. Not the ones you would first think of – who else is on your team that you haven’t thought of before? And now that you have, how could you appreciate them for being on your team? Share one way.
You get to wear your pajamas (Need I say more? 😉 Just kidding. Seriously, though, if you have ever worn a martial arts uniform than you know it is one of the most comfortable outfits you could possibly wear. And this is our business attire!
When I was growing up, it was difficult to get me to sit still. Don’t get me wrong, I liked learning …but I hated sitting at a desk. It was boring. I needed to move! My mom always told me that if I didn’t study, I would end up getting a job digging ditches. I personally didn’t want to dig ditches, so working in a professional, clean, martial arts environment was a huge plus for me. I get to be active, interact with others, and work in a professional environment, all at once.
As a martial arts instructor and after apprenticing for a few years, you can make the same amount of money as someone with a 4-, 6-, or even 8-year degree… but without the costs of education that go along with it. The national student loan debt has reached almost a trillion dollars. Why contribute more to it?
There is something special about being on a team. You learn from each other, support one another, and make your best memories together. You’re all working towards a common goal – and you can’t beat the camaraderie and friendship you build in that environment.
Another unique thing about working in the martial arts world is that it works like an apprenticeship. Apprenticeship is an ancient and extremely effective way to master a skill and pass on knowledge to coming generations. It works very differently than classroom learning – it is one-on-one, hands-on, and relationship-based. You can’t beat the model and martial arts is one of the only places you can find that model in today’s world.
As someone who runs a martial arts school and pours into my students, I can attest to the fact that your students love to give back to you. Just hang around an UpLevel instructor at Christmas or their birthday and you’ll see what I mean. It’s not about the presents…it’s about how much these people love you for giving to them in their life. They respect and admire you, and it shows.
I get the privilege of going to bed every night knowing I have made a positive impact on the world. We just got this testimonial from one of our families in our school. Imagine getting to hear this on a weekly basis from your students!
Uplevel is the a family martial arts studio that challenges people from 3 to 83 to be the best they can be. The principle-based approach by the kind but firm staff resonates so much with people because it’s not just about the art of defense on the mat, but also in life. The motto is “training black belt leaders for life.” This philosophy compliments my wife and my efforts with our children at home. We’ve seen an increase in focus and confidence with our school aged kids, and have committed to earn our blackbelts as a family through this program. Oh yeah—it’s fun too!!
I believe a martial arts instructor who is really making a difference has the same level or impact that a doctor does and should get paid accordingly. This takes training, persistence, and hard work but our team has proven it is possible.
- Job Security
Tony Robbins said that often money is nothing more than a measurement of the value you add to people’s lives. In other words, if you add lots of value, then you can earn lots of money. In our business, there is no limit to your income OR your impact. As long as there are people who want to better their life (and there always will be) and as long as there are parents who want to set their children up for success, then you will have a job.
People = job. When you are working with people and children and coaching them on martial arts and life, there is never a dull moment. You get to be in the moment as you serve your clients. The growth is nonstop…martial arts is set up so that you grow until you die and, let’s face it: growth is happiness. When we become stagnant then we start dying.
Not in this job! You get to keep moving up — in your martial arts, your income and your impact on others.
Does this spark your interest? My encouragement is this: try martial arts. If you or someone you know would be interested…let’s get connected! You can contact me at 434.944.5918.
That is my good-looking family right there. A few years back but just as good looking today, right? 🙂
Practicing martial arts was an amazing choice for my family. What started as a hobby gave us invaluable gifts over the years. I want to share several of them with you here.
1. There are only two things that you can do before you graduate high school that holds any weight on your resume. One is to become an Eagle Scout and the other is earn a black belt. Employers know that people who have earned these honors know how to work hard and treat others with respect.
2. It brought us closer together. They say that the family that kicks together sticks together. It is true! Focusing on something and learning it as a family is one of the most effective ways to form close bonds. You are all facing common challenges together!
3. We stayed active. Our country is pretty large. I don’t mean in square miles. I mean in our obesity level here in the United States. Here is the rule at UpLevel Martial arts – if you eat that day, then you must move and exercise that day. Martial arts kept my family active doing something we loved together.
4. Confidence is key. As a young homeschooled boy, I remember being very shy. I cried my first karate class! But martial arts taught me that I was valuable and competent– that I can succeed through my own effort – not from being perfect but from trying my best. It also taught me that I can make good decisions, despite of the constant negative pressure out there. Whether pressure to do drugs, experiment with sex, or simply join in bullying another kid at school, I believe that the ability to stand up and say ‘no’ or simply recognize that our worth comes from inside — not what the ‘cool’ kids are doing or even the celebrities on TV – is essential for success and personal well-being. Martial arts encourages self-worth and embodying the confidence to do what is right.
5. Self Defense is essential. I was put in headlocks as a kid and pushed around. Nothing even close to life threatening, but when I learned to walk around aware and alert I started to notice potential threats more easily. Then, as a martial artist, I developed the skills to defend myself if necessary. Sometimes the only skills needed are confidence and awareness. My brother Tim and I have been in self-defense situations twice and in each one I am grateful we had the training to step in and protect the innocent.
We hope you will come join our team at UpLevel Martial arts where we forge leaders for life.
To black belt and beyond.
Mr. Sam Wegert
4th Degree Black Belt
I really wanted to UpLevel my ride. I woke up the day before Thanksgiving and decided: today was the day! And if I wanted to show off my car to all of my family and friends over the holidays, then I needed to buy it today!
I frantically made all of the arrangements. Call the bank, call the dealer, ”how about 250 dollars less than then your lowest offer?” Awesome, at least I FELT like I was getting a good deal. It’s not like he would actually accept it…
Wait, did he say yes?!
That means I’m going to Greenville to buy a new car. Right now.
The dealership says it closes at 8pm. I rushed by the bank to grab a check and made it there literally 3 minutes before it closed.
I pulled up to the dealership at 8:15pm. But, late as I was, at Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet-Cadillac in Greenville, SC, they were all smiles as they waited for me to fight the rush hour traffic and the flat tire to get there. I was grateful, especially the day before Thanksgiving.
In 20 minutes, I had completed the paperwork. They made it very easy to spend the money.
I jump in my car. It’s mine – this beauty of a car that freaky fast that I’ve wanted for such a long time.
Immediately, a flood of negative thoughts come over me. Should I really have this car? What will people think? I’m too young to buy a sports car. It is a big liability. Am I selfish? Is this too much?
All of these thoughts stayed with me as I drove home. As amazing as the new car was, I still had some nagging questions. I dealt with the feelings after a talk with an amazing friend who reminded me of several life lessons that I wanted to share.
- Don’t be afraid to grab life big and don’t kid yourself into thinking that everyone will be jealous if you do – they don’t care.
Most people spend most of their time thinking about themselves.
- Keep your promises to yourself.
This car was a promise I made to myself: that I would buy it after I purchased my third martial arts location. Black Belts are honest and truthful …even to themselves. You must be able to trust yourself.
Shout-out to Mr. Bond, Grandmaster Mun, and Mr. St. Clair for kicking butt in their second month. Great things to come at UpLevel Martial Arts Waxhaw!
- Stuff will never ever make you happy…unless it can go from 0-60 in 4 seconds.
I was basically just as happy before my new toy as I was after my new toy. Seriously, it didn’t really change much – I went back to life as normal…ok, almost normal. (Though I can’t lie – the smile on my face to go from 0-60 mph in 4 seconds is ridiculous!)
- Have fun. You live once and you WILL die.
Don’t take life too seriously – no one I’ve known has ever gotten out alive. Enjoy it. This is also not a license to be stupid. Think through your choices. Can you afford it? Are you leaving those that come after you a legacy… or a bunch of debt?
- Give back and be grateful.
I’m amazed that you can buy big things for yourself and yet feel more happy giving $5 to a homeless person. The good book says it best in Acts 20:35, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ After driving this beauty home, I wrote out several things I wanted to make sure I was giving after receiving something so amazing. I want my life to be full of amazing things and experiences AND genuine contribution.
- Make sure you are living a life you FREAKING enjoy and not just working to attain some far -off thing or goal.
Because when that thing (a new car or promotion or girl or guy or whatever) comes along, it won’t make you happy and you will go back to your life as you’ve built it – like it or not!
The question I believe you should ask is this:
Do I like my life just as it is now? If not, change THAT. Don’t cover it up with a toy or a person and think they will change you. Nope! The car didn’t change my life – and I went back to the life that I love!
I train my staff. I encourage them to Grab Life Big. I give them opportunities. I kiss my beautiful girlfriend. I work out. I set new goals. I listen to music. I dance. I train martial arts. I forge leaders. I give back. I make a difference.
I do all the things I love to do because I love to do them and have designed a life I freaking love! It’s not about the next thing – it’s about NOW.
Time for you to do the same. I hope you will call me if you are in a career that is not fulfilling or pays the bills but you hate. I can help with that. Come join my team!
Come change the world through raising up and forging people into leaders for life through martial arts!