Entrepreneur of the month: Livan Concepcion: “We strongly believe in the Homestead community”.
February 12, 2002, is an important date for Livan Concepcion, as it is the day when his martial arts academy, American Ju-Jitsu Center, first started. Today, it is known as one of the best martial arts academies in Florida and the nation.
The American Ju-Jitsu Center has earned a place among the best academies as it holds three karate world championships and approximately 150 state and national titles. The academy’s good name is due to the achievement of its students who excel in the competitions in leagues to which they belong: the Florida Black Belt Association (FBBA), and the North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA).
Furthermore, the American Ju-Jitsu Center is proud not only of the results achieved at various competitions but also for being a family business that has grown hand in hand with the Homestead community. “We strongly believe in the Homestead community,” explains its founder Livan Concepcion; therefore, all employees are students or their family members, and the family atmosphere proves this is not a typical martial arts academy.
At this family business, Livan and his wife Mileydis are the directors; and their daughters, Marielys and Leylani, are their best students. The two girls were awarded world champions in a NASKA championship last year. Marielys is 23 years old and is fourth dan (level of expertise), and Leylani, 18, is already second dan in karate.
Livan is the chief Instructor and is currently the only martial arts instructor within the Greater Florida City/City of Homestead area that holds a valid Florida Department of Education Teaching License. He also holds a fifth-degree black belt in black lotus ju-jitsu and a second-degree black belt in atemi ryu.
Moreover, Mileydis Concepcion has over ten years of experience in the field of education and has worked as a Dropout Prevention Specialist for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. She is licensed as a massage therapist and holds a certification in early childhood education.
Their education background honors his motto “Learning Should Not Stop When School Is Out,” which is derived from its flagship program, the After-School Program, in which they pick up children from school, help them with their homework, to finish with a traditional karate class until the parents arrive.
Nowadays, the After-School Program has approximately 75 students and about 125 other students attend other school programs, like the competition classes, traditional ju-jitsu classes and programs for adults and teenagers that include self-defense lessons and fitness training sessions.
“As more students started to compete, the attendance increased, so we decided to focus on training for competition,” says Livan, who points out that there is currently a 20-member competition group, ages 5 to 25 years old.
In the future, when their daughters graduate from university, the Concepcion family plans to expand their academy. At the moment they focus on preparing their students for the Panamerican International Competition in Miami Beach that will take place in November. As always, they hope to win and proudly represent the Homestead community.
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