By Carol Woodland, Staff Reporter | Photo by Carol Woodland
Dr. David Jackson, Professor of Business and Technology said he has many passions in life he has been lucky to turn into lucrative careers, but the most recent of which is teaching martial arts classes at his dojo, Aiki-Karate martial arts training hall located at 112 La Veta St. NE.
Jackson has been practicing martial arts for 37 years, and owns a dojo here in Albuquerque and another in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he got his start on the martial arts path and it is also where he worked as a Gladiator at Cesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino, he said.
Jackson said when he was 10 years old he was “a very bad kid” and at that time children were put into martial arts as a discipline.
“My very first Tae Kwan Do class, my instructor told me I would never get a black belt because I was so ornery,” Jackson said.
Jackson said he remembers that day vividly, and though he was kicked out of that particular dojo, he went on to earn five black belts in five different styles of martial arts as well as a doctorate in Business Management, and he later thanked the instructor who told him he would never earn even one black belt.
“Negative energy came at me, I took the negative energy and I made positive out of it,” said Jackson, who said that he was grateful that though the instructor had put him down, it gave him the drive to succeed.
Jackson said that martial arts teaches you to be a better person, “to be the best that you can be,” and the skills you learn in the dojo transfer to all facets of life.
In the dojo, students learn to avoid conflict and how to move it away from themselves or how to evade it, whether that conflict is a kick, a punch, a sword, a knife, or gun, he said.
Not only do his martial arts students learn how to protect themselves, but they can also learn specific skills like how to use a sword or bow staff, or how to meditate, Jackson said.
“I meditate every single day, because you can’t be this positive, and not meditate. You can’t,” Jackson said.
His dojo teaches a hybrid of martial arts systems called Aiki-Karate, which is a mixture of five different martial arts systems Jackson blended, he said.
One style incorporated is Wing Chun Kung Fu, which Jackson says can be seen practiced in any Bruce Lee movie, and is a system of martial arts with an interesting history.
“Back in the feudal days, women weren’t allowed to learn martial arts, they were very chauvinistic back then,” he said, explaining that Wing Chun Kung Fu was created by a woman, who studied Chinese monks and adapted their Kung Fu style to fit her body.
Jackson said he believes that in addition to developing skills for self-defense, students of Aiki also learn to develop their own confidence, and fear can be a good thing in that sense because people who practice martial arts can learn to hold on to fear and convert it to confidence.
Jackson said that when he feels negative energy he makes it his goal to convert it to positive, and to bring about positive changes in people’s lives.
“I’ve integrated martial arts into everything I’ve taught here at CNM in my teaching, I do it automatically. My students don’t even realize that they’re really learning martial arts, but it’s in a business setting,” said Jackson.
In the classroom, the dojo, or out on the streets in everyday life, confidence and success comes from diligent and steady practice of techniques learned, he said.
He said he also enjoys making costumes, such as a hand crafted Iron Man costume in his spare time, and running his personal consulting firm, when he’s not teaching classes at CNM.
The Iron Man costume was made for Halloween of 2013, and when he posted pictures of it on Facebook a few likes turned into him being propositioned into doing kid’s birthday parties, and a new business had been born, Jackson said.
“I’m blessed because my passion, something that I love doing became a business, just like karate was and teaching is— same thing,” he said.
Jackson said he encourages students in any major to consider taking business classes for the invaluable skills to be learned such as how to manage people, how to plan, and how to organize and control things, as well as learning about human relationships and conceptual skills.
“Even if they’re non-business majors, they still need to take my classes because my classes will help them with whatever career they’re going in. Karate or CNM, or take them both,” Jackson said.
Jackson said that learning martial arts changed and helped his life, and taught him that he needed to teach, which he loves to do.
“I am a sensei. Sensei is Japanese for ‘the one before, who taught me, teacher.’ My purpose in life was to be a sensei, to teach others the right path to walk,” he said.
For more information on Dr. Jackson’s Martial Arts classes, email senseitoshi@ yahoo.com or call 382-0692.