I began my journey through Martial Arts in January of 1991 at 8 years of age. I was encouraged by my parents to give "karate" a try. At that age it was kind of a scary adventure and I really didn't know what to think. Mr. Steve Yukich was the instructor and I was joined by a handful of students my age.
It took a little while to get past the awkward stage, but when I finally did, Martial Arts became an exciting activity. Every class was a new opportunity to learn new techniques. I was hooked and began advancing through the ranks. As I began to mature both mentally and physically, some new challenges arose. I now began to grow and techniques became awkward again and my flexibility seemed to be getting worse. I was at the stage where my body was growing faster than my ability to control it. I became frustrated and began to think that the Martial Arts weren't for me.
Mr. Yukich continued to encourage me to push through. I did, and in August of 1994 I passed my Cho Dan Bo test (black belt candidate). The next four years were a difficult and long road to my Black Belt. In December of 1998 I passed my Black Belt test and was Mr. Yukich's first official Black Belt. Over the next several years college became an important and busy part of my life. My attendance suffered along with my training. However, after settling into college I was presented with a challenging but exciting offer. Mr. Yukich was retiring and asked if I would purchase and continue running the school.
Wow, after some thinking I agreed, and June 1st 2003 Range Martial Arts was officially my responsibility. I was excited, I had a lot of things to learn, but with the help of fellow black belt Ramona Wickstrom, things worked out. The school continued to grow and expand in both students and facilities.
In July 2006 I successfully tested for my second degree Black Belt and second degree instructor, and in September of 2009 passed the test for third degree Black Belt and third degree instructor. I am very proud of the school and am excited to see it continue to flourish and be a big part of our community.
I am a career firefighter/paramedic for the Hibbing Fire Department, operate on the technical rescue team, am a tactical paramedic for the Hibbing S.W.A.T. team, and a volunteer firefighter for the Chisholm Fire Department. I am happily married to my beautiful wife Jennifer and have two sons named Benjamin and Thomas. I am currently residing in Chisholm and am also a high school Sunday School teacher at our local church.