Behind the mask
As soon as I was able to walk my father (Ray Rice) started showing me the basics at home and by age 4 I was ready to test for my first belt. My father didn't push me into Martial Arts or into joining classes at the school, he just said whenever I want to start just join the rest of the class. At the time I was in Pre-school and actually had a friend start classes. After a few days of seeing my friend out in class I decided to join a few days before my 4th birthday.
From the very beginning I took achieving the rank of Black Belt seriously. Throughout my first couple years in Martial Arts and on into my early 20's I would travel all over the South East with my father. I competedin countless tournaments and met Martial Artist from all over the world.
At the age of eight I was one of only about 100 eight year old's in the country. At the time to receive the rank of Black Belt was rare at my age. I continued on with my training to later receive my 2nd Degree Black Belt at age 12. Also around this time my father saw his school continually growing and was at around 300 students. This growth in students did not result in an increase in our instructors. So at age 12 I started helping my father teach classes and run the family business.
I would continue teaching and going to tournaments while at the age of 16 receiving my 3rd Degree Black Belt. Which again like with receiving my 1st Degree Black Belt was rare and hardly heard of. I would then go on to achieve the rank of 4th Degree Black Belt at age 21 while juggling college and teaching classes.
When I was around the age of 25 I found himself between a rock and a hard place when the economy in our small area of Forest City, NC practically dissolved leaving myself and thousands others unemployed. Not only was this a hard time for myself, it was also a hard time for the school. Because the majority of the student body was employed or had parents employed at the business's in the area that all closed. Without those jobs the majority of the student body could not afford the program anymore. The school saw almost a 75% decrease in the number of students within a three month period. The school was hit hard but was able to survive on the faithful that were left.
I was able to get back into college while at same time trying to come up with ways to help not only myself but my father’s school as well. In early January of 2009 I decided to begin work on an idea that is now known as My Personal Dojo (www.mypersonaldojo.com). My father always wanted me to open my own school but I really didn't want to do that. Instead of opening a traditional school I started designing a new and unique way to learn Martial Arts that anyone could easily get into from anywhere in the world.
Other World Entertainment was created out of the need to help fund another business venture I have been working on while at the same time having fun. Growing up we used to have a black light show at some of our demonstrations so I thought I would bring my own version of that to the world.
Today I still work out and train in my free time. I also work full time in the Tobacco Industry as a Control System Specialist, manage My Personal Dojo, and Other World Entertainment. I stay very busy but I also enjoy Skydiving, Body Boarding, live music, and traveling to new places.