Shihan Brandon Vaughn
As a child, Brandon Vaughn found himself the target of constant bullying. “There was no rhyme or reason,” Vaughn said. “Kids can unfortunately be cruel sometimes.
Vaughn’s self respect took a beating, causing him to lack confidence. It wasn’t until the age of 13 that Vaughn decided to pursue martial arts training. “I always liked the old kung fu movies as a kid so I begged my mom, ‘I wanna do martial arts,’” Vaughn said. His mother listened and soon took him to his first class, only to have him refuse to participate after seeing a class of brown belts complete difficult moves. “I always tell the parents: never take your kids to a brown belt class first.”
A year later, by a friend’s invitation and complimentary a free pass, Vaughn finally participated. “After my first class I was hooked,” Vaughn said. “I took to it like a duck to water.” Having previously tried football, Little League and other activities, Vaughn’s mother was thrilled to find an activity he actually enjoyed.
It wasn’t long after beginning martial arts before friends and family started noticing a change. Vaughn was carrying himself differently, stopped avoiding eye contact and had more confidence. “I was a little older, maybe even out of college before I really noticed the difference,” Vaughn said, explaining that it is often the person going through the change that notices it the least.
Vaughn has continued learning martial arts, including karate and jiu jitsu, among others, and is looking at coming out of retirement to compete again in local competitions. However, his passion lies in helping kids who experience bullying, much like he did. “When parents tell me what their child is going through, I understand because I remember it. I’ve been through it,” Vaughn stated.
Along with running Karate International, Vaughn enjoys giving back to the community. “I love to give anti-bullying talks,” Vaughn said, who lends his voice to area schools through Bully Proof Talks.
For the past 10 years, Vaughn and his wife have been teaching members of the tri-county area the practice of martial arts. Whether to children who need to learn focus, discipline, respect and self-control, to the adult who wants to relieve stress, lose weight and learn self-defense, Vaughn has offered a plethora of resources.
Among his resources, Vaughn counts his wife, Holly. “She is as passionate about the teaching aspect as I am,” Vaughn said. “People who have the support of spouses do so much better. If we weren’t both doing it we wouldn’t see each other.”
Holly Vaughn leads the 4- and 5-year-old class known as “little dragons” and the women’s self defense. “She would never tell you this, but she’s quite the martial artist in her own right,” Vaughn said, explaining that his wife has competed in the kata style of martial arts.
Karate International will be hosting an open house at its new location inside the Ridgeview Crossing Mall on March 21 at noon. The event will celebrate its move to the new Elkin location and offer insight into the benefits of martial arts. “People just see all the kicks and punches, but it’s so much more than that,” Vaughn said.
For more information about the event, contact Karate International at 336-835-5425 or visit kielkin.com. Karate International is located at 2189 N. Bridge St. in Elkin.
Ki is the power of the mind over the overwhelming attitude of self-confidence and mental focus of power. In other words, used in martial arts it is an explosion of power. Ki or life-force as the Japanese call it is located just below the navel. Using this energy is what brings power to martial artists’ techniques.
Ki is what makes mom lift up a car when it ran over her baby. Ki is what makes you get up in the morning and go to work and provide for your family. Ki is that force or in American terms, motivation to make you do the right and noble thing instead of the easy and lazy thing.
Ki often comes to many people around new years. With hope and resolutions of better behavior, we motivate ourselves in to becoming an all around better person. Get fit, exercise, spend more time with family, go to church, get better grades, get a raise, eat healthier, smile more, etc. Ki, or our gut feeling, asks us to use its power of motivation and determination to achieve things greater than where we are now.
But what happens after the motivation is there. We go all out and push and try to make it happen, and then as most of us know, we crash out. We work out hard for a couple of weeks, we eat totally healthy for a few days or a week, we smile more but then daily life kicks us in the booty, etc. Then we crash! We don’t use ki properly.
As Americans, we have a tendency to react instead of act. In other words, we start eating better after we have heart trouble, we exercising when the doctor warns us of our weight, we start being nicer to loved ones when the threat of them not being there anymore is apparent.
As Americans, if we all have ki and we all are motivated at times by ki, how do we make ki work for us?
By using balance. Ki Balance.
To Be Continued in part II.
Keep On Kicking,
CEO – AMAA Sports