Mr. Douglas: Teacher by Day, Fighter by Night


Maria Francisco

We all know the energetic and caring teacher that Mr. Douglass is in school, out of school he’s a dedicated fighter with his family always by his side, and his daughter following his footsteps in martial arts. Once school hours end, he’s off on his way to train martial arts with his daughter at his favorite dojo thats an hour away and only returning home around 11, yet still getting up early to teach the students he loves.
Many people love challenges, they crave for competition and things that will lead them to improvement. For Mr. Douglas, that’s his favorite part about fighting, he says “I’ve never reached a safe or comfortable spot, I always want to go past it. So I think for me the best part about being a fighter is knowing that there’s always somewhere else to go, and I don’t always know where that place is that I’m gonna go but I push through to try and find that”. Although Mr. Douglass loves the challenges he encounters when fighting, there are some challenges that affect his life in fighting and life as a whole. When asked what that challenge was he answered that “the biggest challenge I have is time management, because for me to train it takes me an hour to get to where I need to be. So what I end up doing is, leave work here, at the school, I pick up my daughter who also trains with me, and then we travel down to Stamford, and that takes us about an hour, so we get there around 4:30 or 5:00, and were there until 10 at night”. Time management is something almost everyone struggles with, including Mr. Douglass, but luckily he thrives past it so he’s able to experience and train, pursuing the hobby he loves and is passionate about. Mr. Douglass built this passion for martial arts throughout his journey.
Every journey has to start with somewhere. So when asked what started his, Mr. Douglass answered, “What led me to wanting to fight is that I didn’t treat myself properly when I was younger. I didn’t take advantage of the youth and moments that I had and I didn’t take care of my health the way that I should’ve. I was really overweight, I was sick, just wasn’t happy. And then I decided that fighting is what I wanted to do to overcome being sick and overcome the weight. I lost a lot of weight and went from almost 200 pounds to, when I fought last time, where I was at 155 pounds. That took years and years to get to but that’s now why I fight.” Martial arts can be a start to a new or stable lifestyle to work towards.
As a student of Mr. Douglass, I can say he is a caring and exciting teacher. Everyday he is putting effort into making connections with his students and getting to know them. Not only does he enjoy learning more about his students, but he also loves opening up his life to us. Every class he is sharing to his students about his recent interests, amazing family, and his new fighting experiences.