We were lucky to catch up with Edward Aponte recently and have shared our conversation below.
Edward, appreciate you joining us today. We’d love to hear about the things you feel your parents did right and how those things have impacted your career and life.
My mom allowed me to dream big, she allowed her skinny 14 year old to travel from Puerto Rico to Dayton, Ohio in the 80’s to train to become a Ninja….true story!
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
My story begins in my early teens when I made my first trip to Dayton, Ohio from Puerto Rico in the Late 80’s which was the heart of the Ninja Boom in the west. As a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, I was fascinated by Stephen K Hayes first book that chronicled his training odyssey in Japan searching to become the first westerner to be accepted by Dr. Massaki Hatsumi 34th generation Ninja Grandmaster. I was hooked and for the past 30 plus years I’ve been a student of Stephen K Hayes, western world’s foremost authority on Ninjutsu. In the early days, by that I mean the 80’s, when my teacher Stephen K Hayes had just returned from Japan and news of his training spread far and wide he held seminars and what would be called Ninja Festivals in those days you could find a skinny teenager from Puerto Rico training side by side with international government personnel who had been sent for “specialized training” the Ninja boom fuel by movies such as “The Octagon” a Chuck Norris movie paved the road for those of us interested in more than kicking and punching to training in a complete Martial art. In the early days the struggle was no internet or email so everything was done the old fashion way; corresponding by mail
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
During the Covid 19 lock down I had to close my dojo to in person teaching, and after multiple pivots I arrived at what is now www.samuraininjauniversity.com a complete online portal to study the samurai martial arts as well as mind science practices.
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
For me personally its been word of mouth from my client/students who have been my walking, talking marketing.