- Mr. Mann began his martial arts training 38 years ago in August 1980 with the ATA's "Master Brown" while attending college. Mr. Mann wanted to take as many classes each day as he could, so GM Brown
made an unusual expection and allowed it. Mr. Mann committed himself to that and scheduled each semesters college courses accordingly. He often attended the noon class, all the evening classes, even the advanced student classes, which included the grueling non-stop sparring classes. That was Mr. Mann's training regimen from freshman to senior. All of Mr. Mann's Taekwondo black belt promotions
are from GM Brown, and his current rank at 56 years old is 9th degree
. GM Brown has taught thousands of students, and created over 100 black belts, and Mr. Mann is the first, and only one so far, GM Brown has promoted to 9th degree.
- By the mid-1980's Mr. Mann had his BBA and was back in his hometown of Dallas, trying out local TKD schools. Years went by before he found a school he felt came close to GM Brown's high quality standards. Eventually he found GM Larry Wheeler's
school in Wylie, TX, and just like GM Brown's school, his school taught the original TKD Chang-Hon forms, there was a heavy emphasis on sparring/kickboxing, and he too created many highly skilled sparring champions. Mr. Mann immediately started training with GM Wheeler. During that time frame he became an instructor for GM Wheeler, and they became equal business partners, which then led to relocating the school to a 4,000 sq. ft. retail space in East Plano. They had a boxing ring built inside, which led to hosting on-site and sanctioned full-contact kickboxing events. Many talented kickboxers trained at the school, and that along with full-contact events being held inside, created a unique environment that continued to forge Mr. Mann's physical skills and teaching style. The business partnership eventually ended, and having been in one of the toughest training environments a TKD practitioner could encounter, with no other local TKD choices coming close, Mr. Mann felt it was time to look into other martial art styles.
Judo & Jujitsu
- Mr. Mann discovered a local Judo school
in 1992 ran by GM Bert Becerra
that was producing more Judo champions than other schools, so he started training at that school. Mr. Mann alternated between training at his Garland Judo school and GM Becerra's Richland Junior College Jujitsu class. After earning his black belt, Mr. Mann became an instructor for GM Becerra and assisted in teaching his Jujitsu classes
for over 10 years, even into the mid 2000's. That Jujitsu class at times had over 50 students, and Mr. Mann was the substitute teacher when Becerra was out of the state or country for Judo events, which happened quite often. After 15 years of training and teaching with Becerra, by 2007 Mr. Mann had attained the ranks of 3rd degree
in Jujitsu and 2nd degree
in Judo from him.
- In 1996, after having achieved degrees in multiple styles, Mr. Mann founded "United Fighting Systems
". It's a martial arts association for instructors that have degrees in multiple styles or teach a blended curriculum of them. Membership is primarily by recommendation, either by it's board members, or established members. Since it's inception, over 100 school owners have joined, many from the U.S., and over a dozen from other countries.
- One of the patterns throughout Mr. Mann's martial arts involvement is he could never get enough of it. During the 80's & 90's he amassed a large collection of martial arts instructional videos covering many different styles. Nearly half the time those tapes weren't to his liking, then checking with the seller, the industry standard return policy was "no refunds". Companies needed to be held accountable for aggressively marketing overpriced and non-refundable, poor quality videos. Then in 1997, after black belts in multiple styles, he started "Martial Arts Video Reviews
", posting online reviews for the martial arts community. He created a uniform grading system assessing what was taught, would the viewer understand it, would it work, how long before a viewer could become proficient, how could it be taught better, etc. Eventually some of those reviews effected certain companies sales, which led to creating better products, and/or offering refunds. His website was recognized for improving that market niche and being a significant contribution to the martial arts community. The site has posted nearly 400 reviews, and at it's visitation height in the 90's, was getting over 20,000 "uniques"/visitors a month. Nearly every martial arts video company sent him VHS's, and eventually DVD's, for free to review. Mr. Mann's martial arts video library has grown to nearly 2000 DVD's. One of the great personal benefits came from contacting video instructors by phone, to ask questions before posting reviews. Along the way he developed friendships with many higher quality video instructors, and even met some in-person.
Mann's Martial Arts - Then in September 2005 he opened Mann's Martial Arts, bringing a vast mix of concepts and techniques from styles he'd trained in, and been exposed too through UFS & MAVR. His school "MMA" is designed for the street. It addresses all 5 fighting ranges (long, mid, close, stand-up grappling, ground). His curriculum can conform to each students limitations, injuries, handicaps and age, to find what works on an individual basis, and adapt through those stages to provides a lifetime of benefits. Although Mr. Mann's not a huge proponent of tournaments, his students have won 1st place nearly every time they've entered them. He credits that passing-on of sparring knowledge and skill to his time with GM Brown, and the quality training program GM Wheeler had.
Mr. Mann continues to maintain his skills and is 1.5 years away from entering his 5th consecutive decade of staying involved in the martial arts.