Courage, Honor, Conquer
These 3 powerful words have been our school motto since MAFC was born. These words have special meaning to me and the man that they came from. So we are going to take a look at our school motto in a 3 part blog post to pay tribute to the famous Mr. Green.
For those of you who never had the opportunity to meet, learn from or train with Mr. Green it is hard to explain in words the impact he made on so many lives. Mr. Green was a graduate of Valley Forge Military Academy and Rutgers University, where he was a varsity football player. In 1955 he served in the Honor Guard at Arlington National Cemetery as a Guard for The Tomb of the Unknown Solider and served in the Army in the Korean Conflict. He was the owner-operator of many well known restruants throughout the area. After retiring at age 65, he earned his black belt in Tae Kwon Do Karate in five years and went on to become an instructor in Medford. This is where our paths crossed. I would train under and along side of Mr. Green or many years and learned so much from him. Courage, Honor, Conquer was the motto of the Valley Forge Millitary Academy and we adpoted it to honor Mr. Green. He was a true inspiration and the definition of courage.
Courage is having the strength to stand up and do what needs to be done even when you are afraid. To stay focused and on task, positive through hardship, even when you want to give up. Mr. Green faced many challenges but always stayed positive until he pasted away at the age of 80. Even towards the end, anyone who sat down with him could see what a special man he was.
Not only did I train with Mr. Green, I also had the pleasure of teaching Little Dragon's with him. Mr. Green ran the Little Dragon's program and took great joy in teaching 3-6 year old students. Even in his 70's he was on the mats help to shape their future while having fun every day. The students and parents truly loved Mr. Green. He could get a room full of dragons to snap to attention and give every ounce of energy they had each class.
Mr. Green had many accomplishments throughout his career as a martial artist and instructor. He once trained and completed 100 straight push ups when over 60 years old and was a regular feature in our martial arts demonstrations. Here you can check out Mr. Green in action in 2003: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCyBz3fv1L0 ... at about 1:15 you can see my amazing acting abilities and Mr. Green break a board over my head.
If earning your black belt over the age of 60 years old and inpacting countless lives through his teaching wasn't enough, Mr. Green alway stayed positive no matter what he was dealing with. Through battles with cancer and other health related issues, you would never know if he was feeling down or not well. Mr. Green was always positive and his happiness couldn't help but bring a smile to your face. I have many found memories with Mr. Green including times when we laughed until we cried. He was truly a special man.
I think that if he was here today to tell us about courage he would say, be adventurous and try new things at any age. Never doubt yourself or how great you are. Our own greatness and the things we do can impact so much more than just ourselves. We can impact others, make a difference in someone else's life and impact the world. Everyone of us has that inside, we just have to have the courage to use it.
In the photo below, you can see Mr. Green standing next to our instructor as my father and brother both recieve their black belts.
About The Author: Bryan Preston has over 25 years of training in martial arts and fitness and is a Physical Therapist Assistant. A 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Bryan is the hand to hand tactics instructor for Ghost Ring Tactical and holds many certifications in fitness and nutrition including person trainer, FMS, kettlebell, Precision Nutrition Level 2, Certified RockDoc and more. Bryan has been teaching in the Marlton/Medford area to children and adults from ages 3 years old and up.r