The Story Of Us, We, Ourselves… Oh, Here It Is.
Mathew grew up taking martial arts classes from an early age. His love of the arts led him to eventually earning several black belts by the time he was in his twenties. Eventually this led him to teaching. This changed everything.
All the goals he had for his future changed as he began to pursue a career in competition and teaching. Though he went off to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville his plans were firmly set in his mind to one day make this his career path.
At the UTK he met Jackie who was studying education. It wasn’t long until they decided to get married, which meant full time work for Mat. Jackie finished her Bachelors and then Master’s degree while Mat set plans in motion to open his first dojo.
This was the beginning of decades of developing his standup comedy routine… for kids. He realized quickly, which was confirmed by research Jackie had done into human learning and development, that the best way to reach and teach kids was through play and laughter.
Knoxville was Jackie’s childhood hometown. She grew up in a small house with her parents and three brothers. She became the first in her family to graduate from college and then she went on to get a master’s degree in education. (Eventually, the brainiac got an Ed. S. in education.)
Mat and Jackie met at UT and married and they had their first child Brandon a year and a half later. Jackie started her first teaching job and Mat opened his first martial arts school. Just over four years later they had their daughter Lexi.
Being a father of two and teaching kids every day honed Mat’s knowledge of what kids found funny. He realized that the silly was actually more enjoyable to them than the gross or inappropriate. Silly was about surprise and wonder as the inappropriate was simply negative attention seeking. His silly humor was born.
After another five years, they had a double surprise, twins! Now, that’s funny. Not only did ‘Master Booe’ have a dojo full of kids at his school, he also had a home dojo full of them as well.
Mat’s competition preparation led them to sell his school and move Los Angeles to train. They spent the better part of a decade living, teaching, and growing as a family in Burbank and the ‘Valley’ north of LA.
Jackie taught in one of the hardest areas in the country, East Los Angeles. Those kids were hardened by life and jaded through tough experience. Yet, she had them loving her and hanging on her every word.
Jokes (and a healthy dose of sarcasm) won them over. She was able to truly teach some of the hardest cases anywhere once she had their attention and respect.
Mat’s competition schedule took him all over the world, and with great success followed an international seminar teaching schedule. He was exposed to people and their kids from New Zealand to Australia and Germany to Ireland. He had the opportunity to make thousands of kids laugh around the world as he incorporated kids seminar classes in the areas of his adult fighting seminars.
Then it was time to move back to the East Coast. Mat started businesses teaching kids in all types of environments and Jackie taught undergraduate classes for teachers. Both have specialized in one thing, play as learning.
Their motto: The best tools to get children to truly engage in learning or anything else is play and laughter.
See Mat’s Author Page here.