Mike Welch

Date of Birth: 9/21/81
Age: 30
Place of Birth: Madison WI
Residence: Madison WI

Style: American TKD
School: Infinity Martial Arts
Instructor: Randy Beck was my first instructor
Year started Martial Arts: 1992
Year received Black Belt: 1996
Team: Team Infinity
Sport Karate Coach(es): In the past it has been Steve Godfrieaux and Joe Greenhall,
but now its just me n my team
Sport Karate Titles: I’ve had a few

First National Win: 1998, Team forms. (Team Xtreme)
Toughest Forms/Weapons opponent: I would have to say, of the many, John Su
Toughest Fighting Opponent: There have been a lot, but recently it would be Nathan Thorn
Sport Karate Career Highlight: When my student, Sammi Suddeth won diamond Nationals and when my demo team made it to the US Open Stage! I am more happy for them than for me
Martial Arts Goal #1: Win the US Open Demo Challenge
Martial Arts Goal #2: Grow my school to maintain 250 students
Non-Martial Arts Goal: More vacations
Most Admired Martial Artist: I am a pretty big fan of Matt Emig, but it was Jon Valera and Carmichael Simon who really inspired me way back when.
Most Admired Person(s): Aaron Rogers

Favorite Technique: Jack Knife
Favorite Sport Karate Athletes
Past Kata: Carmichael Simon, Diamonds 94 or 95 when he did the crow
Present Kata: Matt Emig and Micha Karns
Past Fighting: Pedro Xavier
Present Fighting: Ross Lavine
Favorite Food: Chili Dogs
Favorite Movie: Transformers
Favorite Magazine: Masuccess
Favorite Book: I like coloring books mostly
Favorite Music: I can get down on anything, but Rock is at the top.
Favorite Artist/Group: Tool, Chevelle, The Doors, Led Zeplin, Nicki Minaj
Favorite Hobby (other than martial arts): Snowboarding

Mike Welch started karate at age nine and began competing as a white belt. At that time, Wisconsin had an awesome tournament circuit that he was very much a part of. He earned his first degree black belt in 1996 and shortly after that was a founding member of Team Xtreme. This is where he began his “national” competition career. Team Xtreme got started out in the NCKA circuit around the Minneapolis/West WI area. It was attending events on this circuit Mike and his Team Xtreme members were able to meet some good people such as the Jon Worley, Pat Worley and Larry Carnanhan. It also allowed the team to build a pretty good fan base, so by the time they hit the Diamond Nationals, people knew who they were and were cheering for them on stage. Mike Welch says “Our road to success was strictly through team forms at this time, but led a few of us to the NASKA circuit”.

From 1998 to 2004 Mike hit the circuit pretty hard and was able to make a name for himself as a bo competitor, but also as “one of the Xtreme guys from WI” (Some of you may remember.) He jumped around on a few teams like Team DS, Team J.Phillips, but was most proud of being a part of Team Straight Up. Mike said “I think Joe Greenhalgh is a guy who has a lot of passion and a lot of knowledge of this sport.” Mike’s explosive movement and raw energy gained him enough to get noticed by even some of the biggest of names. In fact, at one point he was ranked number 1 in traditional weapons and was tied for the second spot behind John Su’s nunchuck form with Joey Greenhalgh and of course lets not forget all while competing against both creative and extreme competitors.

When asked if there was one thing Mike could share that most people wouldn’t know he said “When I look back, I am very proud of what I had accomplished. Had I defined my goals with more detail, I could have accomplished much more. I feel that I did not reach my potential as a competitor. (Way back then.) I have no regrets though.” Mike knew early on that he wanted to eventually be a school owner with students and a school of his own. After 2004, he began his career as an instructor and opened his own school in 2007.. you may have heard of them, Infinity Martial Arts. Mike hasn’t moved on entirely from competition but has become successful in another side of the martial arts industry. His school has over 200 students and an awesome team of instructors, who also happen to be his teammates. Mike says “I have found a new fuel in competition, but it is more geared toward the success of the team and not my own divisions. Our Team Demo is not made up of top NASKA competitors, but we work hard, we have good choreography and we are very dynamic and are improving as individuals.” After nearly a decade of competing on the NASKA circuit Mike is now in the 30-39 division where last October he captured the Diamond Nationals Diamond Ring. Mike concluded with “some exciting things may happen this year for me, but again, it’s all about the team and my students. Anything that happens in my individual events is just a bonus.”

Check out Mike Welch and his team at Infinity Martial Arts