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David H. Hughes Professional Speaker

Hi, I'm Dave Hughes. When I was growing up, my father allowed me to start martial arts in 1971 at the age of six, but with a condition: If I were to get in a fight with the other kids, I could no longer train. The fact that I was not allowed to fight put a major target on my back while growing up. When I was 14, I hit a pothole in the track while running a 40 yard dash and the torque broke my hip and shredded the connective tissue. I was told by my doctor that I would walk with a limp for the rest of my life and that martial arts and all sports were no longer an option for me. Needless to say, the bullies in middle school and my freshman year of high school were even less kind for the 6 months I was on crutches and the year that I basically had to drag my left leg behind me after that.

Due to the mental and sometimes physical abuse I took, I became obsessed with proving my doctor wrong and not only gaining my full mobility and use of that leg and hip, but becoming the best I possibly could be. I set a goal at age 15 to become a world champion. Using Kickboxing Champion Bill "Superfoot" Wallace  (the best kicker in the history of the sport, who could only use one leg due to an injury) as a role model and inspiration, I won my division at the very first International Junior Olympics for the kicking sport of Tae Kwon Do at the age of 16. I fell in love with pushing myself and constantly redefining my limits. Over time I succeeded in regaining full use of my leg and hip. However, during the rehab and physical conditioning, I found that I had both a talent and a passion for strength training and weight lifting. This led me to be one of the early cross-trainers between the two disciplines, especially at a high level for both.

Over the years, I have been a national-level, drug free strength athlete and an international competitor in martial arts. I've won a national championship in Black Belt Open Forms competition and an international championship in full-contact competition, but my greatest competitive success has been as a world-class Grappler and World Jiu-Jitsu Champion. This was in spite of a new health challenge. I have had the auto-immune diseases of both fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis for the past two decades.. Not ideal for my choices of sports, but my Rheumatologist tells me that most people at my stage of my diseases would be on disability. My martial arts training and weight lifting is what truly keeps my health and physical capacities at such a high level.  I have now been cross-training in multiple styles of martial arts for over 45 years and am currently an 8th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor under Black Belt Hall Of Fame Instructor of the Year, Grand Master Ernie Reyes, Sr. 

When my wife and I opened our martial arts school in 1993, remembering the challenges I had with bullies as a child, I began Speaking in local schools and churches to kids about how to deal with bullies without having to fight. What many people don't realize about the martial arts is that they are as much about teaching life skills and self-improvement as they are about self-defense. While I love working with my students of all ages (currently 3 years-78 years young) at our martial arts school, I have a passion for Speaking with children (as well as parents and teachers about how to help their kids) about  the subjects of bullying, life coaching for children, physical and mental fitness, and the Pursuit of Personal Excellence and Self-Mastery.


Now that I have finally retired from competition, I am currently putting the time and energy that I put into becoming a world-class combat athlete into my second career as a professional speaker and author. I have just completed creating an e-book and video series Dealing With Bullies Without Resorting To Violence. Another project in the editing phase is an e-book and video series called Life Coach Your Child.  I'm also currently working on an e-book and video series Grappling For Geezers: : Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Grappling For The Older Athlete. My next project is a website and series on physical and mental conditioning for older athletes in all sports.


I am available for Speaking engagements on any of these topics. Please use the contact information below to check for available dates and bookings.







"Speaking with children (as well as parents and teachers about how to help their kids) about  the subjects of bullying, life coaching for children, physical and mental fitness, and the Pursuit of Personal Excellence and Self-Mastery."

*Due to delays in the construction of my new website, I have put up this wix business card site until my new site is completed.


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Dave is a speaker that can get your audience engaged and both laugh and think. Watch the video to see more!

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Business/Mailing Address:

327 Hancock Street Gallatin, TN 37066


Tel: (615)483-1583 or call (615)230-9658


  • Student leadership conferences

  • School assemblies

  • Career fairs for students

  • Graduation/commencement programs

  • College preparatory/readiness events

  • Orientation/transition programs

  • Church youth groups and ministries

By connecting to audiences on a personal level and discussing relevant,
real life issues and skills, Dave will give you and your group the tools and
motivation they need to excel in their lives, work and passions.


Whether you need a speaker to kick off the school year with your staff, provide a mid-year teacher in-service, or need an engaging and fun keynote or workshop presenter for your educator conference, Dave is a great fit!



This interactive session engages children or parents and teachers in strategies and principles to help children become more successful in life .


This interactive and inspiring presentation teaches children important, usable skills in the real world to prevent fights before they start. It explains the nature of bullying, what it is, the different types of bullies, how to deal with them and why not to bully others and break that vicious cycle.

I have worked with David Hughes through the process of writing his book and expanding his motivational speaking engagements. He is a dynamic and energetic presenter with decades of experience. I have seen him work with young children, teens, and adults, as well as those with special needs and he is able to engage any audience. I highly recommend him!

Eli Jackson-CEO, Griffyn Ink Publishing

  "I have known David Hughes for more than ten years and believe that he provides a unique and superior school program for students. After twenty-two years of observing various school programs there are very few that are engaging and meaningful. David’s winsome presentation engages students and encourages them to reflect upon the decisions they are making. One way to gauge the effectiveness of a school program is if students continue to talk about it days later and weeks later. Our students love the program and months later are asking if we can do it again! "

-David Hallman, School Principal

© 2016 by David H, Hughes. Created with

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