Kovar's Martial Arts, a well-known chain of martial arts schools in the Sacramento Valley will be celebrating its 40th year of business in the coming year.
In November of 1978, six months out of high school, Dave Kovar took over a fledgling karate school in North Highlands. As much as he loved martial arts, back then this wasn't considered a career. Dave was just looking for a job that he would enjoy until he graduated from college.
Fast forward 40 years, the college thing never really worked out, but the martial arts thing did. The Kovar's organization now operates nine locations in the Sacramento Valley and has taught over 30,000 residents and counting since first opening.
The going was never easy. Along the way there were plenty of challenges. "I moved several times in the early years and had to supplement my income by painting houses by day" says Dave Kovar. "Then in the mid-80s, Karate Kid came out and that changed everything. I already had a relatively successful kids program so when the demand increased, I was ready. Business really took off for us when I convinced my older brother, Tim, to become my partner in 1987. We worked together for 20 years and his influence was The X Factor that really made us successful."
Although the Kovar's organization is known internationally for developing high caliber martial artists, the two things that Dave Kovar is most proud of is…
#1– How their schools have positively affected the lives of their students.
“Because the nature of martial arts can be viewed as violent, we have an obligation to really stress the non-violent aspects with our students such as: respect, courtesy, self-control, perseverance, and self-discipline. We have heard time and time again from parents and alumni that these lessons were foundational in developing our students into adults of character. And for that I am grateful”
#2 – The amazing team that Kovar's has assembled.
“From our CEO, Dave Chamberlain, on down to our assistant instructors, all 100 plus of our employees are committed to our vision of helping to ‘Shape the World’ one student at a time.”
Over the 2018 year, the Kovar's organization will be featuring the stories of 40 alumni and how their martial arts journey helped to shape their lives.