When Susan King’s father sadly passed away, Susan decided to use the money he had left her to carry on his legacy and do something she knew would make him proud. So she took the brave step to set up her own martial arts academy ‘Mushin Marital Arts’.
Susan started training in martial arts at just 15 years of age when her father expressed his keenness to have her be able to defend herself. Although Susan had built up her career working as a manageress in sports retail, she developed her martial arts training over 26 years offering classes on a voluntary basis in the community.
Now a 5th degree black belt ‘godan’ Susan is one of the few women in the UK to be ranked so highly and she is keen to see more women have a go at the sport. “Women seem to think that they can’t do it”, says Susan, “However, it’s not a sport that uses strength; it is more about self-defence. Anyone can do it; women just need more confidence to try it out.”
At the point of setting up her business Susan had been out of work for several months, and the thought of signing off benefits to work for herself was both daunting and exciting. Susan was directed to The Women’s Organisation for support via another local support service. She said “I did my business plan with one of their business advisers who was so helpful. Capital was the main barrier in setting up the business, so I was glad of help to put together grant applications.”
The Mushin Marital Arts Academy were awarded grant funding from local enterprise initiative Stepclever to enable them to cover their business start-up costs.
“I’m feeling positive that we’ve managed to open the academy, and everyone who has come through the doors has said it’s fantastic. We really have tried to make sure there is something for everyone, from suiting the traditionalists to those who are into their MMA and I think we’ve managed to achieve that.”
Mushin Martial Arts Academy which is located at 180a Queens Drive offers a range of classes including: Japanese Ju-Jitsu, Sambo (which is a Russian form of wrestling),Women’s Thai boxing, fitness classes, Aiki Budo, Thai Boxing, children’s boxing and grappling, little Samurai’s and Combatives – fitness class. To find out more about the classes on offer from Mushin Martial Arts visit www.mushinmartialarts.org.uk or contact Susan on 0790612610. You can also follow @mushinacademy on Twitter or befriend them on facebook.
Reflecting on her achievement Susan said “This is something I have always passionately wanted to do. Working for yourself gives you more drive. It’s your own, not someone else’s and that is a great feeling.”
Susan’s advice to other women considering self-employment is “Get help from someone who knows what they are doing. There was so much that goes into a business plan I hadn’t realised needed to go in it. If it wasn’t for The Women’s Organisation I would still be running around in circles.”
If like Susan you are looking for support in following your dream to start up your own business call The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 and find out about the range of FREE services we can offer. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk