Yes. The vision for Sidekicks Martial Arts Academy started in 1979 when GMO was in the US Navy. He was already teaching martial arts and he was still a martial arts student, himself. In the late 1970’s GMO was training under his Taekwondo instructor, Chuck Hawkins. GMO already had the idea spark inside of him, to open his own Dojang and to teach Taekwondo, even way back then.
GMO has been teaching Taekwondo for over 45 years! He’s already aware that now he’s in the Legacy Phase of his career.
The legacy phase of his career, means to GMO and the students and families that he works with, that he’s making an impact on future generations. GMO’s been teaching Taekwondo for long enough to know that what he says and exemplifies in front of the students in class, makes a big impact in their lives. That’s why so many of his students return, decades later, and bring their kids to train with GMO. He considers this a pretty awesome legacy to own up to.
The history of the Sidekicks Dojang goes way, way, way back. Back to the days of covered wagons and apple pie. Wait a minute! Covered wagons? No. Apple pie.. Well that’s good any time!
All kidding aside, Sidekicks did get started way before most of the Sidekicks parents and all of the students even walked this earth. Sorry GMO, we know you don’t mind being called “old and grumpy” these days, even though your first generation students insist you were stricter back then.
That’s when things picked up for the future GMO’s Sidekicks career! It was the late 1970’s. (Think Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire.) Although he’d been taking martial arts lessons practically all his life, Maurice Orange started training in Martial Arts seriously under an instructor named John Rossette, who taught in the style of Wing Chung Kung – Fu. ‘
One day Maurice picked up a Black Belt magazine. On the cover was a martial artist doing a very spectacular kick. You guessed it. It was the sidekick. Young GMO took the magazine to Mr. Rossette requesting to learn kicks of that nature. Mr. Rossette indicated that such kick techniques are unique to Taekwondo and he should seek a Taekwondo instructor.
(Little did he know, that he’d be appearing on the cover of a Taekwondo World magazine in his future, doing that very same Sidekick.)
On Mr. Rossette’s recommendation, young GMO started under his first Taekwondo instructor, Mr. Chuck Hawkins. Mr. Hawkins was a student of Pat Burlesson and Alen Steen. Their instructor was Grand Master Jhoon Rhee.
Once GMO was under the tutelage of Chuck Hawkins, he excelled very quickly and was doing the Sidekick and even the Flying Sidekick by the time he was a Yellow Belt. Thirteen months after starting Taekwondo, Maurice attained the rank of first Degree Black Belt.
Master Orange had a vision that led him to where he is today. He saw himself owning and running his own martial arts school. He wanted to teach Taekwondo according to the principles of Integrity, Discipline, Honor, and Indomitable Spirit. He opened his first independent martial arts school in 1983, National City, Taekwondo Center.
He has never looked back. Eventually, opening two more schools, in Spring Valley, and in Chula Vista, all three schools running busy schedules with over 300 students.
After a time, GMO sold the Spring Valley and Chula Vista locations to two A.T.A. Junior instructors who wished to follow in his path. GMO then concentrated his efforts on National City Taekwondo Center.
Taking a visit to Jamaica, he opened a Sidekicks branch in Kingston, Jamaica in 1985. At this point Sabum Orange (he was not even a Master yet) had 150 Black Belts active in training with him.
Master Instructor is the correct term, and it means the instructor has obtained the level of 6th degree black belt.
In 1990, Master Orange (he was not Grandmaster Orange yet) resigned from the American Taekwondo Association. That was a big brave step, because it basically meant that he was branching out on his own, without the support and the blessings of the ATA. At that time, it was common knowledge that without being associated with the ATA, one would fail in operating a Taekwondo center.
With so many factors against him, being born into poverty, having no formal business training, disregarding the opportunity to stay in the US Navy, leaving from the ATA to run his own martial arts school, how did Grandmaster Orange ever succeed?
Well, to ask him, the answer is, “A lot of hard work, perseverance, indomitable spirit and and determination”. Sound familiar?
He took the skills he had learned from his mentor growing up (that’s another story!) and he applied them diligently to his own business. He worked hard, and worked a lot.
His experience in the US Navy helped GMO to succeed as a small business owner, “It helped me to understand what real teamwork is. I continued to further develop my leadership skills. Especially I learned to be successful under pressure.” You can even find GMO’s profile on the US Veteran Owned Business website.
In fact, Grandmaster Orange has been so successful, at running his own business over the years, and being successful for more than three decades, right since the first month he launched his martial arts, business that now he’s in the business of teaching other martial arts businesses how they can be successful too.
Grandmaster Instructor is the correct term, and it means the instructor has obtained the level of 8th degree black belt.