Today we’d like to introduce you to Ninja Pinto.
Hi Ninja, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
In 2000, I came from Brazil with the dream to teach Brazilian Martial Arts in the USA. I was following my brother who was offered an opportunity to play soccer. Lucky because I grew up playing soccer, I was able to join a college and get an education because of athletic scholarship. After two years, my brother and I were able to bring our parents to the USA as well. My brother became a professional soccer and I followed the dream to teach martial arts. I had to have many jobs in order to make it. Construction, Dishwasher, Pest control, bartender, soccer referee, interpreter and many others. Eventually, I met a martial arts business mentor from Colorado, Mago. He guided me on how to run a successful business in the martial arts industry. After his coaching, in two years I was able to open my own school and today, we have 8,000 sq f. Facility with 240 students and a lobby with a Brazilian Cafe where I hired my mom to run it.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
At first, it was just my brother and I in a new country without our family. We are 16 and 17 years old. I had to do all kinds of hard labor work in order to support myself.
Bringing our parents from Brazil was not easy because they did not speak any English and we had to guide them on everything.
My father died of cancer on the same year I opened my own school after battle it for 11 months.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
The Brazil Academy is a Martial Arts School that teaches leadership and character building values; our delivery method is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Capoeira and Muay Thai.
It’s a family environment with a lobby and a Cafe with Brazilian dishes.
The classes focus on the development of the students who accomplish life enhancement and world titles.
Some of our athletes use our program to improve outcomes in their lives and some athletes are actually high-performance competitors.
Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
I am all about risk taking, I left my country and my family at the age of 17 with the dream to teach what I learned in Brazil to people in the USA. I knocked every door possible to offer my classes for many years, I had to teach out of basements, garages and even at a Park because I had no place else. I took many jobs that I hated just because I needed the money to feed my dream. I signed a contract of two years to a building when my father only had six more months of life due to cancer. It had to work, I never think about what if I fail? I will make it work, whatever it takes. I love to think about the idea of if I go to an island, I burn my boat because now I am forced to make it work.
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