Welcome to MADE in Lake County! MADE introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. Today it is our pleasure to introduce you to Chad Sheets. Chad is the Owner of Goho Seishen Martial Arts in Lake Villa.
My sons (ages 8 & 10) are obsessed with ninjas. I blame Lego for their obsession, but am willing to encourage it because I (often) remind them that martial arts require discipline and focus. . . two things I’m all about teaching them. So, I was incredibly excited when Sensei Chad Sheets opened his karate dojo in nearby Lake Villa last January. It was just what my budding warriors needed to fuel their obsession — all the while learning discipline and focus.
Gōhō Seishin Dojo offers classes for youth and adults. The name means “School of the Lawful Spirit. ” I asked Chad to share what it’s like to be a husband, dad, Sensei and entrepreneur:
What was the catalyst that started your business?
I’ve been training in various martial arts for over 20 years, but particularly focusing on an Okinawan style of Karate-do called Matsubayashi-ryu. Training has given me a number of positive benefits in health, mental and physical stamina, and confidence to handle a variety of situations. Several years ago I reached the point that I wanted to help pass on those benefits to others and began teaching out of my basement. Over time, the number of students (both children and adults) grew to the point where it made sense to open a larger, more public facility.
Has it been difficult to get your business up and running while being a parent?
Its not been easy, and I think most parents would agree it never is. I have a lot of support from my spouse and the rest of my family, as well as a number of students, but there are still a lot of tradeoffs. I have a regular day job in addition to teaching and my own training , so time is a precious commodity. I truly value every moment I can spend with my family – but I am also able to include the children in a lot of the activities. They both train and are always eager to welcome new students in their age groups. I also have enjoyed seeing my own children grow in confidence and self-esteem as their skills improve
What is the best thing about your business?
The study of Karate-do is a passion of mine, and being able to share that passion and train alongside the students is just awesome .
What do you do to recharge?
Training in the dojo! : -) In all seriousness, training in the martial arts and with other martial artists and students is one of the key “go-to” things I do to clear my mind and get great exercise. The other way I recharge is spending time with my family outdoors.
What was your inspiration?
The desire to pass on the learning and benefits I have received to as many people that I can.
What is the most important thing you want our readers to know?
Matsubayashi-ryu can be practiced by anyone, at almost any age. It provides a rigor and process to learn self-defense, and improve health and well-being. But most of all, it gives people a path to pursue perfection in themselves. Once you learn this, it can be applied to any other area of your life. I always welcome interested people to try a couple classes to see if it is for them. Call for details at 224-406-5793
What is your favorite part about your business?
Watching the sparkle in people’s eyes and the improvement in their psychological outlook and inner peace. It shows itself as students learn new skills and gain confidence in themselves.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Balancing time and commitments – there is always more that can be done to provide teaching opportunities.
How long have you been in business?
I’ve been doing this since 2006, but only opened our 112 Cedar Ave. location in Lake Villa in December of last year.
How difficult was it to get your business up and running while still caring for your family and other responsibilities?
My spouse and family have been huge supporters, but balancing commitments is always part of the decision process. Family comes first, but I am blessed that my family helps support the business, helps out on maintenance and management and the kids also participate. They kids helped paint the dojo, and now they feel like it is “theirs” too as a result.
How did you come up with the name?
Japanese doesn’t always translate directly into English. Gōhō Seishin Dojo means “School of the Lawful Spirit” but Lawful here it is used as much in the sense of doing the right thing in life and in nature as opposed to a following a legal term or statute. The logo for Gōhō Seishin tries to illustrate that if you go in the right directions, your success could be limitless.
Connect with Chad and the Goho Sishin Dojo
Disclosure: Chad Sheets and Goho Seishin, is our featured Business of the Month. This series is part of a paid promotion partnership with Little Lake County. All thoughts and opinions belong to the writer of the story. If you are interested in featuring your own locally-owned business in our series please contact us.