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Nathan Grey Kaizen Tactical Combat Instructor

A New Journey Begins

As of December 2023, I decided to retire, and closed my studio Kaizen.

This was not a decision I made easily, as teaching has always been a major facet of my life. It’s a part of who I am and how I’ve defined myself for over 30 years. However, this journey for me has come to an end as I embark on new paths. I’m not getting any younger, and a lifetime of fighting, injuries, surgeries, and chasing adrenaline,  has taken its toll on my body. I feel so much older than I am. I’m tired and worn out.

It’s time for a change in my life to heal and rebuild my own strength both physical and mental. Teaching consumed a massive amount of my time and energy. I gave all I could to others while never feeding my own flames, and I paid the price for it. It’s time I return to my primal roots as I did while training in France and Tahiti. I feel the need to re-ignite my own fires and evolve into someone or something new. As selfish as it may seem, I can’t focus on my own goals if I’m giving all of myself to everyone else. I now understand more about one of my own trainers ” T “, and the journey he had to go through to become who he is today. I need to once again train for myself as I did in the beginning.

This difficult yet necessary decision was a long time in the making. I’m now doing what is best for me, focusing on my own personal needs and goals in life. After three decades of teaching, I’m ready for this career shift. It will allow me freedom to train myself, to travel, to pursue my filmmaking and photography full-time, and more availability to volunteer at the Big Cat Rescue, which truly is where I’m happiest.

In my lifetime, I’ve trained countless students ranging from beginners to seasoned fighters. I dedicated nearly my entire life to studying combative arts and the science of tactical fighting. My training has taken me to several states and foreign countries and I’ve encountered many amazing people in my life because of it. I’ve been a bouncer, a fighter, and even a stunt actor in films. These experiences and memories will stay with me forever, as will my time as a teacher.

Throughout my career I endured many extreme hardships and setbacks. No matter how hard the world hit me, I’d stand back up and continue fighting. Those struggles forged the foundation for Kaizen. I wanted to offer something real, something not focused on titles, ranks, and trophies, something that gave people true strength and skill. I feel I accomplished my goal one last time. Those who trained with me long enough understood the differences between “title vs skill”, “style vs discovery”, “instinct vs memorization”, “courage vs ego”, and “reality vs bullshido”.

Since opening in May 2018, Kaizen remained strong for nearly 6 years with a large and growing number of active members. While some students came and went, there were many who had the dedication to pursue their goals, overcome their fears and doubts, and achieved a talent they never knew themselves capable of. In a society today full of people with an overwhelming sense of entitlement, laziness, and lack of motivation or commitment, all of my students knew every time they walked through my doors, I would push them harder and harder and not tolerate any excuses. Everyone knew where the doors where should they not be willing to apply themselves, or if I felt I was babysitting them rather than training them. My reputation was and still is everything to me, as was the quality of training I provided.

However my life is pulling me in a different direction, so I’ve closed this chapter on my own terms. My other businesses have grown to a point where they are successful and self-sustaining, and I’ve unexpectedly found myself in a new career I never anticipated, yet highly enjoy. For it to remain successful and continue growing, it needs more of my time, focus, and energy.

My passion for training will live as long as I do. Perhaps someday I’ll find myself teaching on the side again, but never again as a career. My time now belongs to me. If and when should I someday train anyone else, they will have to prove they deserve what I can offer them.

I will no longer give my time to just anyone. As arrogant as it may sound… I know my worth, I know my level of skill. It certainly did not come quickly nor easily. I had to fight for it. I had to sacrifice, suffer, bleed, and be broken both physical and emotionally. I chose to rise up every time, time after time after time. Few will ever know or understand what I endured, and even fewer have seen the full capacity of my capabilities. I know what I’ve done for countless students throughout my career. I know I will give (as I always have) anyone all the knowledge I posses if they’re willing to fight for it.

I truly believe any trainer worth anything, should relentlessly strive for their students knowledge and skill to someday surpass their own. This is one thing that always set me apart from other instructors, and in many ways made me an outcast and ronin. To anyone willing and capable, I would have given them all I had to carry on my legacy. It’s all I have to leave behind. However for now, I’m ready for a much needed sabbatical from teaching.

For the families and students who have been with me since the beginning of Kaizen, I can’t thank you enough for your continued support and commitment in sharing your time with me. You made Kaizen a success. I will truly miss teaching my students, and I’m very sorry our time together has ended. I hope the knowledge I strived to pass onto you will stay with you throughout your lives, and that your memory of me will be a positive one.

For those who’ve only recently begun your training, I regret our time together was short lived. I hope for everyone to find a new outlet and direction in your activities that will have a strong impact in your lives, as martial arts training has had for me.

For any “would be” future students, I regret I’ve left you with little to few options of quality places to train. Everywhere I look, all I mostly ever see are pseudo instructors parading their titles and styles around like some kind of ridiculous holy grail, who posses more ego than actual skill. All I can say is, don’t be fooled by their claims… make them prove their worth and make certain they help you discover YOUR fighting style, and not just make you copy theirs. Your life is far more valuable than their pride and ego. Train as you fight, and fight as you train. Remember, it’s all Bullshido… until its for real.

Continue striving for excellence in all you do. Thank you.

Nathan Grey

Martial Arts Reedsburg Nathan Grey Kaizen

A Trainer with Passion

My name is Nathan Grey. Thank you for visiting my Kaizen website. I began studying martial arts when I was 12, and I’ve been actively teaching since I was 16. I’ve studied a wide array of styles and formerly held many ranks and titles. I say formerly, since many years ago, I abandoned all acknowledgement of these (in my opinion) worthless titles.

My experiences taught me Rank, Style, and Title had nothing to do with the quality of martial arts training so many people receive. I will NEVER sacrifice the quality of my training, in exchange for massive amounts of students. I teach martial arts out of a passion to share my knowledge with others and give them the quality they desire and deserve. I bring the very best of my passion, skill, creativity, and ambition to every class I teach.

My training in France and Tahiti over the course of several years exposed me to an entirely new concept in martial arts. For me, there was no going back to any other method of training other than what I provide now. Rather than memorizing forms, competing for trophies, or bragging about titles… I inspire my students to discover their own signature style, to develop instinctive skills, and understand concept application rather than memorization. I provide a dynamic and motivating environment, while focusing on personal one-on-one attention for every student I train. My passion is martial arts and teaching, and my commitment is to my students and their families.

To contact me, visit this link: KAIZEN

In addition to Kaizen, you’ll see two other very important facets of my life on this site; One being “Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue & Educational Center”, and the other being “I Am Cinema”. Feel free to visit these links to learn more about my other business and volunteer work.

Thanks for visiting!

Nathan Grey

Martial Arts Reedsburg Nathan Grey Kaizen

Evolve and Discover. Be more than a Martial Artist.

Rank, Status, and Title mean nothing. Let go of your ego.

Throughout my training, and because of my trainers in France and Tahiti, I have learned to evolve and discover my own fighting signature. This much like Alice discovering just how far the rabbit hole goes.

I’m not here to change your mind or fill you with ideas. If you train with me, then you already know what’s missing in your style, or at least realize something’s missing, and you are not satisfied… so now as a result you’re here with me.

People that train with me, they are not sheep, nor do I treat them like one. They don’t blindly follow the herd, and they recognize the concept and approach here is unique, and unlike anything they’ve seen elsewhere.

For my fighters, these are more than individuals with the courage to get in the ring and fight. They’re not just tough people willing to take a punch… they know that alone doesn’t make one a great fighter. Beyond “toughness”, there must be instinctive talent. Beyond martial arts… we discover our own signature style.

It’s the journey that shapes us… not the destination.

If you are like me, then you are searching for more. This is what led me to train under the fighters from France and Tahiti I’ve spent so many amazing years with. They changed everything for me, and I never saw martial arts the same way since then. Martial Arts training is an internal search, and through exhausting, intense, and consistent training, it is about discovery. Their method of training, discovery, evolution, and freedom combined with the lethality and artistry of their fighting system is beyond anything or anyone I’ve ever experienced or comprehended on my own, and I pass on their legacy as best as I can to anyone passionate and ambitious enough to learn.

I continue to train myself, simply because it is my passion. It’s in my veins to train. Over my lifetime, I have acquired a level of skill which I share with anyone serious and passionate about their training. If you are searching for more in your training, then I will share my time with you.

If you have a serious mind, and are willing to embrace serious training, I will help you to evolve and discover your signature fighting style, not memorize someone else’s.

To contact me, visit this link: KAIZEN

Martial Arts Reedsburg Nathan Grey Kaizen

I Am the Storm

Fate said to the Warrior, “You cannot withstand the Storm”.

The Warrior replied to Fate, “I AM THE STORM”.

This quote speaks volumes to me…

It is not a quote about violence or fighting, or anger and lack of control. In fact, it is the exact opposite of anything negative. What I discuss next, is not in any way “crying a river” about my life, it is my battle cry.

I was NOT born into a life of privilege. In fact, I was born with a death sentence. I was born with “Wilms Tumor” in my left kidney. The doctors told my mom, “Take him home, and so he can live through the next week with you.” Forty years later… I’m still here. While I now only have one kidney, I’ve lived a complete life and have always strived to achieve any goal I’ve sought after. My favorite activity is doing what others mocked me for even attempting… the impossible. I’ve traveled the world, studied martial arts in foreign lands, I play with Tigers and Lions, I’ve worked in films with celebrities, ride motorcycles, skydive, and ski in the mountains. I live my life… I withstand the storm.

This has not at all been an easy endeavor. Everything I’ve had or have, I’ve worked for, with my own sweat, blood, and tears. It’s been a life of sacrifice and hard work and against all odds, I continue to fight for what’s most important to me, my life. Having worked for all I have, makes me appreciate it all the more.

The mentality of “Being the Storm” is beyond merely surviving the challenges life throws at us, it’s about embracing them as opportunities to test ourselves and overcome what others think to be impossible. My goal is to inspire my students by “walking the talk” and “leading by example”. “I’ve never known a strong person with an easy past”. I challenge my students, training is not always easy, and demands the most from them… however the reward is priceless. Students gain a level of confidence they never knew they had. To say “I Am the Storm”, is about prevailing over and embracing challenges, rather than giving up.

To contact me, visit this link: KAIZEN

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