Our very own Rob Schenk was recently interviewed on the Bay Area Martial Arts podcast to talk about the intersection of business and martial arts – how are they related? How does one inform the other? Read on to find out.
What does the business world have to do with martial arts? How can the delivery of IT Services in the Bay Area be influenced by the values of a martial artist?
That’s what Intivix partner Rob Schenk was asked to talk about on a recent episode of the Bay Area Martial Arts podcast. Host Wade Pitts and he discussed how training and martial arts can have a positive impact on life and business.
To begin, they spoke about Rob’s background in martial arts. He started with karate when he was 12 years old, mainly out of convenience (the dojo was located close to his elementary school) and due to his parents wanting him to take part in a discipline.
When the karate practice progressed to the point where he would have started entering tournaments, Rob hesitated to continue; as much as he enjoyed training, he never really took an interest in competing for medals, sparring, or hurting others. So, he dropped out and didn’t return to practicing martial arts for years.
It wasn’t until his late twenties, living and working in the Bay Area, when Rob decided he wanted to get involved with a dojo again. There were a number of options available to him in the local area, and so he tried a few out before coming across Aikido.
“There was something about it that drew me,” says Rob. “The way the people were interacting, there was a vigorousness, but with a very positive spirit. I knew that that’s what I wanted to learn and get more into.”
That was nearly twenty years ago – today, Rob teaches at a dojo in the city where he enjoys watching his students learn and grow. He took over the dojo when Gloria Nomura Sensei, then in her late seventies and with more than 45 years of aikido training under her belt, decided to take a step back from the day-to-day operations of the dojo. Without Rob stepping in, she may have needed to close her doors.
It wasn’t easy for Rob to determine whether he could take on that kind of a role at the dojo. At the time, he was also looking after his family and his business, which would make it difficult to commit more time to the Aikido dojo.
“I had competing interests,” says Rob. “How do you want to spend your time, what are your priorities, and how do you want to balance these things?”
For Rob, in the end, it came down to his son. When thinking about what kind of example he wants to set, and what kind of guidance he wants to offer his son, he decided to get more involved at the dojo and set up a children’s class.
Nomura Sensei is still involved with the dojo as Technical Director. She helps to oversee the operations without having to be too involved, ensuring that the dojo is still successful.
“We carry on the legacy, helping to make this a multi-generational dojo,” says Rob. “Sensei helps us, as teachers, to optimize our craft. She teaches us how best to communicate, how to manage a functioning dojo, how to grow it, and more.”
Believe it or not, many of these same values tie directly into Rob’s work with Intivix delivering IT Services for Bay Area clients. For nearly as long as Rob has been studying Aikido, he has been running Intivix. Just as he strives to build a community from the Aikido dojo, Rob also works hard to build a family culture at Intivix.
For Rob, it always came down to self-awareness and understanding. By determining what type of end result he was working towards, it helped him to achieve it.
“You have to take a step back and determine what it is that you want,” says Rob. “What’s your vision and where do you want to take things. For me, it was making small investments in things, planting seeds, making connections, and leveraging the network that I’ve built. If I put out good energy and positive feedback, and let the work stand for itself and make sure the clients are happy, things kind of take care of themselves.”
It’s thanks to these positive practices that Intivix has grown so much over the years. While it’s only recently that Rob began implementing digital marketing strategies, for many years the business grew simply by word of mouth throughout the Bay Area thanks to how effective Intivix’s range of IT Services is.
“You do the right thing, and it comes back,” says Rob.
Be sure to listen to the episode for yourself to get the full story. For more information about the work Intivix does for its growing network of clients in the Bay Area and beyond, get in touch with our team at (415) 543-1033 or firstname.lastname@example.org.