faber est suae quisque fortunae
(every man is the artisan of his own fortune)
The above quote by Appius Claudius Caecus, a Roman politician has guided my life (NO KIDDING, I have it tattooed on my arm). However unlike Appius who was born into a wealthy patrician family, I grew up poor.
Until my late 20s, I felt like I had been fighting my whole life. Brought up on the south side of Johannesburg, in South African government housing (similar to “the projects” in the USA), I learned early on that what really mattered was not how smart you were, but whether you were tough enough. Growing up, I often felt trapped in a really bad nightmare — and I wanted to wake up.
But as they say, tough times build strong character. I was determined to survive the school bullies and the mean streets of my neighbourhood. Even though I survived the violence outside of my home, my home wasn’t safe either. Things turned rough in my teens. My abusive, alcoholic mother kicked me out of the house at 17 and, as a result, I never finished high school.
I found myself sleeping on a park bench, in the very same park I played in as a kid. With less than $20 in my pocket, I decided then and there, to change the trajectory of my life. As Appius noted, “every man is the artisan of his own fortune” and I worked hard to turn things around. I realized in the darkest moments of my despair that success comes down to what you do on the inside, no matter what’s happening to you on the outside.
The truth is, the only narrative that really mattered was my own. All stories can have any kind of ending you choose. I decided not only what my story would ultimately become, but how it would end. Your life is your story. You can choose both the plot, and the ending. You can also change it at anytime you like. Don’t live someone elses story, live your own. Be brave, you owe it to yourself!
Martial Arts Literally Saved My Life
Martial Arts taught me to be resilient, to embrace my fears, to develop laser-like focus, and to never give up. Having developed those qualities (I had to!), I went back to school, put myself through college, and currently completing my Ph.D.
Over the years, I have taught special-force military operators and law enforcement officers how to develop an unstoppable physical game and mind needed for success and to survive when all else fails on the battlefield, or on the mean city streets. I have taught thousands of students how to both survive in life and death interpersonal violent encounters, as well as how to take on the Martial Arts of Everyday Life more skillfully.
Violence Survivor, Fighter, Martial ARTist
You see, I did wake up from my nightmare whilst growing up. What I learned on the mat as a martial artist, helped me not only take on those tough, mean streets of Johannesburg, but it empowered me to take on life, full throttle, and to succeed. I started martial arts first as a way to survive, and then as a method to achieve personal mastery. If I hadn’t started training in karate and boxing, I wouldn’t be coaching business leaders, entrepreneurs, and success-minded people in the very same inner game tools I had developed to become a success in my own life. This site is dedicated to my life’s work on the mat, on the street and taking on the Martial Arts of Everyday Life more skillfully!
“As a positive psychology researcher I am impressed with Rodney King’s intuitive grasp of people’s strengths and hopes. Rather than building a martial art around fear of attack, testosterone-based competition, or external rewards King introduces the best aspects of performance psychology to help people achieve their own goals.
In a field steeped in tradition, King artfully reimagines both the dojo and the martial arts business mentality. At long last, we have a perfect union of proven martial arts techniques with cutting edge approaches to teaching and personal development. As a martial artist myself, King’s methods are a breath of fresh air.”