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Business Observer Friday, Mar. 23, 2018 4 years ago

Fifth-degree black belt offers tips for CEOs

Guillermo Gomez’s training center combines martial arts, yoga, meditation and more. He’s targets CEOs — aiming to boost leadership skills.
by: Grier Ferguson Sarasota-Manatee Editor

When Guillermo Gomez was growing up in Venezuela, he would regularly walk by a traditional Japanese martial arts training center. It was a magnetic feeling, that kept him coming back. Says Gomez: “It always gave me the sensation that I needed to go in there.”

Gomez started training at the center when he was 10 years old. He kept at it, and now he’s been training in martial arts for 30 years and is a fifth-degree black belt.

Lori Sax. Guillermo Gomez is the founder of Martial Fusion Budo Center in Sarasota.

He also runs a martial arts training center, first in Miami, and more recently in Sarasota, at Martial Fusion Budo Center. His niche at Martial Fusion is to train business leaders, C-suite executives and others in leadership positions. Gomez moved to Sarasota from Miami two years ago; his wife is from Sarasota, and he liked the change of pace on the west coast of the state. 

To create the Martial Fusion Budo Center center, Gomez combined five main elements — aikido (Japanese traditional martial arts), kickboxing, yoga, the Chinese practice of qigong and zen meditation. “It’s not a magic pill, it’s not a seven-week program,” he says. “It’s a discipline.”

His students come to him mostly through word of mouth, he says, often after talking to him or students training with him. He also gains clients through social media and YouTube. He focuses on videos because he says they’re a good way to showcase what he does at the center.

“Your mental space needs to be cherished. Look for information that will bring you to a higher level of operation.” —Guillermo Gomez, founder, Martial Fusion Budo Center

From his 20 years of experience running a dojo, it’s become clear to Gomez there’s a certain type of person who starts training and sticks with it. Often it’s individuals who are responsible for several other people. Like CEOs and entrepreneurs.

His students are also doctors, instructors, police officers and pilots. “All seem to be driven individuals who know the way to get things done is by working hard,” Gomez says.

People in leadership positions tend to be looking for a discipline that allows them to expand, evolve and transform, he says. “The practice becomes a mirror for you," he says. "You’re constantly evaluating your position.”

Gomez says confidence comes from sense of self-knowledge.

The training also helps his students explore how they behave when threatened or pushed and gives them options to act differently. It teaches body language, too, allowing students to study how they sit, stand and move.

Leaders are attracted to the training because of a simple principle, Gomez says: “I cannot lead anybody anywhere if I don’t know who I am. The practice helps you know yourself.” 


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