2015 New Year Rant
Well folks, in some respects 2014 really sucked. There were a number of terrorist events, we had a couple soldiers killed in Canada, on home soil, by terrorists. Then there was the scourge that is ISIS in the middle east. As if that wasn’t enough, there was also that Ebola thing, nothing to see here folks, just people bleeding out of their eyes. And the various governments wondered why we didn’t “trust” them to get the job done. I believe it was Ronald Reagan who jokingly coined the phrase,” we’re with the government and we’re here to help”. Then while everyone was watching Putin take over Crimea and start up the cold war again, and Obama was cowering on the golf course, our own government was quietly and subversively stripping us of some more rights. A death by a thousand cuts? Yes 2014 was indeed an interesting year.
But here we are at 2015! This year marks our “20th” year in business. In August of 1995 we officially opened our doors even though Rising Sun operated as a home based business for a time. Call it luck, hard work, or just plain stubbornness, but we are still here. It really has been a wild ride. We have made many acquaintances, met quite a few celebrities, and yes even gained a few haters. We have been threatened, robbed at gunpoint, had numerous windows broken by a domestic terrorist, and even had someone try and burn the building down. We have dealt with personal health and injury issues that on occasion saw us putting a closed sign up on the door, but you guys kept coming back, kept supporting us.
During these past 20 years, we have garnered invaluable experience in the area of martial arts apparel and training gear. As the martial arts world has changed, we have changed and adapted with it. In some cases we have led that change. We were the first retailers in Canada to carry Tapout and UFC branded gear. Today we deal with over 30 distributors / manufacturers and stock over 3000 different lines of product in our little store. In fact we (Mike) were instrumental in MMA becoming sanctioned in Edmonton when Mike was recruited by the Edmonton Boxing and Wrestling Commission to expedite that process. We were only the second jurisdiction in the country at the time to legally sanction MMA events.
We led the way in bringing notable martial artists to Edmonton for training seminars exposing literally hundreds of local martial artists to some very high calibre training. We supported hundreds of club activities and functions, tournaments and MMA events. We supported local law enforcement and military and assisted or trained numerous personnel in this area and across North America. We established our own sub division known as Rising Sun Tactical that has also taught self defense, impact and edged weapons concepts as well as advanced firearms instruction. We’ve been on TV, in papers and magazines and even mentioned in some books. We’ve worked close protection for the wealthy, sports figures, celebrities, and even a former President of the US. We’ve worn many hats.
Numerous people have approached us for our technical and tactical experience looking for assistance. Sometimes, we were more like the neighborhood barber where people could just vent and get a load off their chest.
Yet by all standards we are not even considered a small business. With 2.1 employees, we are a micro business. We receive zero respect from the government that taxes us to death, or the banking institutions that want our business, but won’t offer anything in return to “micro business” owners.
But here we are, 20 years in. It really is amazing how fast the time has gone by. We’d like to say that we’ll be here for another 20 years but logistically that probably won’t happen. We don’t have enough room in here for Dianne and I to move around on power scooters. But hopefully Rising Sun as an entity will still be around. In any event, thank you all for allowing us to be of service to you and allowing us to be able to call ourselves entrepreneurs. We wish you all the best for 2015 and in whatever endeavours you pursue in your future.