Ben Couch, Instructor

I'm a guy who just loves martial arts, and the arts in general.  I received my master's degree from the University of Arizona in Literary Criticism, though I left academia a long time ago.  Still, I love reading, writing, and research to this day.  In my work, I head up the employee training department for a national group of retirement communities.

I teach this program for free because I want to create a space for the arts where we can exist simply as teacher and students.  You give me your time and energy and studious effort, and I give you my time and energy and knowledge.  That is all: simple.  Additionally, I want to mention that we can maintain this non-monetized relationship because the Salvation Army gives us the space and donates many supplies.  If you're looking to donate some tax-deductible goods or money, the Salvation Army is a fine choice for your donations.

My martial arts teaching style: when it comes to the dojo, I am very strict and formal when it comes to technnique.  I take our art very seriously, but I try to never take myself too seriously.  While I'm quite well-studied in my field, I am always learning and growing too.  If you want an all-knowing teacher who can dodge bullets and throw people using mind power, I'm not your guy.  And if you need to call someone "master" or say "yes, sir" 274 times per class, I'm definitely not the teacher for you.  We're just a bunch of sincere students without all of the honorifics and trappings (emphasis on "trap") that some people enjoy.  That's fine for them -- there's nothing wrong with it -- but it's just not my way.  When it's time to be serious, we are serious.  When it's time to laugh, we laugh.  All things arise in the appropriate moment, as a block arises at the perfect moment to intercept a strike.