Interview with Frank Benhamou
Imagine a time where you wanted to travel to the far east of Asia to meet your ultimate Master of Tai Chi but could not see this possible. Maybe you live on the other side of the world, maybe you don’t have the money for a plane ticket, or maybe you just simply can’t drop everything and go. But what if you could meet your Wing Chun idol without having to travel all those miles, without spending so much money and without having it affecting our everyday lives?
The world of social media is vastly progressing and an incredible concept sparked up for Frank Benhamou, the founder of ‘Martial Tribes‘. Set up by a Hong Kong-based entrepreneur, this social networking website connects inspiring martial arts instructors from all over the world, with the world. Martial arts enthusiasts may use this site to interact and learn with masters through blogs, videos, live streaming of instruction and tournaments, wherever they are. Now founder Franck Benhamou is aiming to make Martial Tribes a million-strong community and this is only the beginning.
- Tell us, how did the concept of Martial Tribes come about and how did it come to existence?
Martial Tribes aims to be the largest multi-disciplinary ecosystem for martial art. Its mission is to fold on one hand to help club owners and instructors to increase their reputation and monetize their experience; and on the other hand, to enable practitioners to interact with their idols and learn from the best. The concept of Martial Tribes came to life when I saw how one of my Wing Chun instructors, despite great experience and knowledge, was struggling economically to live off his art. I decided to use my entrepreneurial background on Internet start-ups to create Martial Tribes, and help martial art instructors generate additional income.
- Tell us about your background and how this has influenced Martial Tribes?
Since the age of 6 when I started judo, I have always liked the world of martial arts. Over the years, I tried on and off a few disciplines but never had the constancy to become an accomplished practitioner. However, it gave me the opportunity to truly appreciate the quality of people you find in this community and the life skills you acquire while practicing. I ended up forging great relationships which were at the source of the Martial Tribes project.
- Who should be using your service?
Martial Tribes is designed on one hand for club owners and instructors who can increase their reputation and share their experience, and on the other hand for practitioners across the world who now have a unique opportunity to communicate and interact with the best martial artists.
- How far do you think you have succeeded since starting up Martial Tribes?
Martial Tribes is barely a one year old project, we already have reached some very encouraging milestones. We have now over 100,000 registered members. Some very influential masters across all disciplines have joined our platform and are supporting our efforts (you can see a few of them in our Masters´ Circle). This list is increasing steadily. Our reputation is consolidating and we are developing some very original and unique content using various media. From an administrative and financial point of view, we have a strong and dedicated team of employees and freelancers; we are well funded and able to weather all the hick-ups inherent to a start-up. We have great ambitions and understand however that much of our growth is still to be realized.
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