Our new website wouldn’t feel complete without a tribute to Steve Hindman. At East Coast Martial Arts, Steve was a leader, teacher, friend, mentor, father figure, and brother. East Coast Martial Arts is Steve’s vision, his hard work, and his passion. Not only is East Coast a place where children and adults learn to be better people, it is a place where members become family; Steve wouldn’t have it any other way.
Under Steve’s leadership, East Coast Martial Arts grew from a small, traditional, martial arts gym in his garage, to a 6,000 square foot, modernized martial arts studio, in a state of the art facility. Steve always led by example. He knew that he wanted to build resourceful, adaptive and resilient people who continue to learn and who have the ability to lead. Because of this, Steve was the perpetual student – always learning and changing his curriculum. He was constantly adapting. The teachings at East Coast are a direct result of Steve’s drive to improve and bring the best to his students.
Steve truly cared about people. He could hold a conversation with a 5-year-old as easily as he could have a conversation with an adult. His interest in people could be felt with every interaction. He could train a doctor to be a black belt as easily as he could train a 4 year old to be respectful and confident. This ability took him around the world as he laid down roots for MMA as we know it today in organizations such as PRIDE. As amazing as that is, Steve would never tell you about it. Steve was more excited about the small victories, such as a martial arts student learning a new technique, or an MMAFit student losing their first 5 pounds.
Steve was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and given 3 months to live. Steve made everyday count. He didn’t just survive; he lived. Everyone around him knew he was doing it for us. He would never say it, but knowing Steve, we knew he was leading by example in some of his most challenging moments. Steve always considered those around him in his decisions. This thoughtfulness lead to Steve organizing and hosting the first annual Cancer Awareness Seminar in 2012. Since then it has raised over $15,000 for the Shower’s Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Akron Children’s Hospital.
KJ Shaheen II
A tribute to Steve honoring his roots in the martial arts:
Thank you for everything, Steve!