Kovar began his martial arts journey at 6 years of age. He now describes himself as a “teacher of teachers” helping martial arts instructors to grow their schools.
To start his school, Kovar said that he borrowed money from his parents. He also worked a day job to teach his classes at night, and struggled for years to make ends meet. That changed overnight with the movie “The Karate Kid”. Kovar said that he would arrive at his school and there would be a line of parents with their kids.
Kovar shares, “It was just like the perfect storm. It was crazy times and it wasn’t too long before I was teaching full time.”
But even with a surge of students for his school, Kovar does not paint a simple path to success. At one point Kovar had over 900 students and he was teaching almost every class. To relieve the pressure, Kovar began sharing his workload with his assistants. He later developed teaching methodologies to improve the transfer of knowledge to instructors.
Discussing his own martial arts training, Kovar says that longevity is much more important to him today. Kovar shares, “I look at health and fitness as a part of my training. The line is very blurred for me. If I’m eating a really clean meal, is that martial arts? I kinda think it is.”
Kovar also warned about the dangers of being unwilling to change. He shares that some previously successful friends are now struggling because they didn’t change with the times. Kovar says, “Somewhere along the line they lost that hunger, but they quit paying attention to what was going on, so they didn’t stay relevant.”
Of the interview Lomboy says, “Dave was always so balanced with what he shared. He could have focused on all his experience and success, but he didn’t. He shared both the good and the bad, what worked and what didn’t. And that can be a rarity as we scroll through the highlight reels of social media.”
“It’s still about trial and error,” says Kovar. “I’m still trying to figure it out, but I’m a lot better at it now.”