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The Bay Area Martial Arts Podcast

Oct 31, 2017

Today, Wade interviews Phil Des Rosiers. Phil was born and raised in Marin County, California. He began training in the Martial Arts in ‘87 after he got his start from making a wrong turn down an alleyway on 15th and Mission, San Francisco. A man suddenly accosted and attacked him when his boss — James “Kimo” Aven — clotheslined the perpetrator, then turned to him said, “Have I ever told you about Kenpo Karate?” Kimo was a 3rd-degree black belt right under Ed Parker, trained with Ralph Castro and Rick Alemany, and was friends with Danny Inosanto and Bruce Lee. Phil took Kimo’s suggestion; he walked into the Marin Kenpo Karate Dojo, and never looked back.


Phil’s next big milestone in the Martial Arts happened in ’08. He was training dads in a local park for free, when his buddy Mike made the suggestion of going back to his roots and starting a new company. It was that same day that he also met his current partner and co-owner, Robin Artegiani, a retired Chief Investigator for the Marin County’s DEA Office. Together, they started the Marin Dojo.


In this episode, Phil talks about his business model for Marin Dojo, the inspiration, and motivation he needed to begin his business, his philosophies, where he sees the future of Martial Arts headed, and most importantly, walking the fine line of staying true to the Martial Arts while still making a profit. Phil has pride in keeping their business model simple and their prices low — because, as he puts it, “It’s not about the money; it’s about the community.”


Key Takeaways:

[1:02] Phil introduces himself and how he got started in Martial Arts.

[4:08] Working in finance and the mortgage business before owning his Martial Arts studio

[5:22] The inspiration he received to startup his Dojo

[8:46] Phil’s unique business model

[10:47] Phil’s lack of ego

[12:08] Similar to last episode’s guest, Brannon Beliso, Phil talks about his business model and the sense of community in the Martial Arts.

[16:00] Their user-friendly membership

[16:37] Walking the fine line of staying true to the Martial Arts while still making a profit

[20:12] How Phil sees the progression and teaching of Martial Arts in the future

[22:44] The direction adults are headed in the Martial Arts: The hybrid Martial Arts self-defense system opposed to Traditional

[25:31] What Phil sees for the future of his school