Franchising to End the Bullying Epidemic
Franchising to End the Bullying Epidemic

Pro Martial Arts is built to defend against bullying.

From sandwiches to smoothies, there’s no shortage of franchise concepts out there. But how many can claim to truly change lives for the better?

That’s the goal of Ed Samane and his Pro Martial Arts franchise. Samane, CEO of the martial arts chain, recently told Canadian Business Franchise how important his company is to him not just as a brand, but as a way of life.

“I was a morbidly obese child,” Samane said. “At 11 years old, I weighed 215 pounds. I would get bullied several times a week at school, so I just walked around with my head down. Then I found out two of my next-door neighbors were learning tae kwon do. I started to go along with them and I was fascinated. Here were people in tiptop physical condition who were confident and could defend themselves.”

Samane enrolled in classes, lost weight and saw his life change.

“People saw the transformation and the bullying issue went away,” he said.

Samane’s passion for martial arts continued as he grew older, and he began to see his work as a way to help youth. Then, in 2008, the Pro Martial Arts concept was born in Philadelphia. Samane’s franchise concept was launched at a time when America was just starting to pay more attention to the issue of bullying among young people.

According to stopbullying.gov, 28 percent of U.S. students between grades six 6 and 12 experience bullying, while 20 percent of students between 9 and 12 report the same.

“Research indicates that persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior,” stopbullying.gov stated.

Anyone who’s watched the news in recent years should be familiar with stories of kids pushed to the breaking point because of bullying, some of them deciding to take their own lives. Pro Martial Arts hopes to combat this trend through education and training.

“This brand was founded on anti-bullying and our franchisees have brought forward great concepts to help kids stand tall and make good choices,” Samane said. “We’ve continued to revamp our curriculum and develop best practices based on our franchisees. The system keeps adapting.”

With the way the franchise has grown since its inception, it’s clear Samane is far from the only person hoping to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

Read the full story here.

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