We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Dong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mark, what is the most important factor behind your success?
There isn’t just one factor for me. It is a combination of having a positive attitude, perseverance and being consistent. You do those three and it will take you far.
Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Krav Fit Now is a self defense or martial arts school that teaches Israeli Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Cardio Kickboxing. We have been serving the Houston community for over 10 years and counting! We have classes for people of all ages and fitness levels. Our school has won awards with Lessons.com Best Kickboxing School for 2017 and 2018, Swoon Memorial Magazine as Best Fitness Center/Gym for 2019 and we are currently nominated for Swoon Memorial Magazine’s Best Martial Arts Center for 2020! We were also the Houston Chronicle’s Top 3 for Kickboxing for 2020! I got to where I am at by providing excellent customer service for our students, having a clean and sanitized school, (even before COVID-19), and teaching classes that everyone can join in regardless of your fitness level that is fun, informative and challenging!
No, it wasn’t easy. Being able to do all that I mentioned above all by myself was a challenge. I was trying to get new students to come in and sign up, while teaching classes while maintaining great customer service with my students. How did I overcome these challenges? Positive attitude, persistence and consistency!
Lots of lessons were learned when owning your school. From all the different permits that you need to get up and running to what is a better disinfectant for my mats. Too many to name, but main one I learned until Jan of 2020, was to get Quickbooks!
I would like the world to know that self defense is something that everyone should learn. People are always looking for the cheapest place. You pay for what you get. Do you think that going to the cheapest place will save your life? We are not the cheapest, but, we are not the most expensive place to train. Krav Maga is the only self defense system that is battle tested and combat proven. Your life is priceless and what you learn from us will save your life as it has for several of our students and those students are still training with me for 8 years now. What we teach at Krav Fit Now has and will continue to save people’s lives AND getting them in shape in the process!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, being a business owner it has been tough to get away and enjoy all the lovely things Houston has to offer. When I do get time to get away, I enjoy bike riding the Seawall in Galveston, have lunch at Mario’s Italian restaurant and then drive to Kemah and hang out on the Boardwalk. During the week we would visit Moody Gardens and visit Space Center Houston. I would also take my best friend to a shooting range where we can do some tactical shooting as well as take him to places where I train for Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to give them a little taste of what I do for my “continuing education hours”.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Wow, there are so many people that have helped in my success. First, my family for supporting me in this crazy endeavor. Also, all my martial arts instructors who have taught me all the necessary skills to be able to pass down to my students. Many of these instructors are also school owners who have also gave me advice on how to help me grow my business. Larry Escher, Professor Ulpiano Malachias, Whit McClendon, Robert Webre and Michael Corley are just a few on this list. I also want to give a shout out to my BNI Energy Corridor. This is where I started to learn about referral networking and BNI has helped me grow my workshops and seminars as well as spread my name in the Houston area community.