Even in his first career as a corporate trainer, Renard Beaty always wanted to work with young people. The leadership skills and life hacks he taught to his executive peers would be transferable and have a greater impact on young people, if only he could expose them earlier, he thought.

Beaty’s philosophy is simple: “Our kids aren’t eggs. They can be leaders at a young age and grow up to be believers of tomorrow.”

So far, Beaty’s vision has paid off. A 4th degree Black Belt in Tang Soo Do and Mu Duk Kwan, he opened Kick Start Martial Arts in 2007 to great success and lots of support from families in the community. But after having to relocate his business on short notice, Beaty struggled with the finances needed to make Kick Start’s new location the safe, comfortable, and best-in-class business it once was. Read more about Mr. Beaty’s incredible journey after the jump:

Beaty’s girlfriend had heard about Wells Fargo’s Neighborhood Renovation Program contest and suggested he apply. She explained to him that Wells Fargo had a platform in which he could tell his story about how he transitioned from the corporate world to work he was now doing in the community through Kick Start.

The Wells Fargo Community Builders initiative recognizes small business owners who give back to their community. The program helps community leaders like Beaty by providing grants for sustainable renovations and more.

Wells Fargo launched the program in collaboration with Rebuilding Together, a premier nonprofit organization focused on rebuilding communities in need across the country, which helped complete the renovations.

“Working with small business owners is one of the most important things we do at Wells Fargo, and we know that when small businesses succeed, our communities prosper,” said Lisa Stevens, Wells Fargo’s head of Small Business. “We are committed to the communities we serve and are focused on encouraging economic development in cities across the U.S. By transforming a group of local small businesses, this program will help neighborhoods in five cities take another step forward.”

Once the folks at Wells Fargo heard Beaty’s story, not only was he selected to be one of four Atlanta-area finalists in the contest, he was chosen as the Atlanta Grand Prize winner — meaning that along with the designation and inclusion in a nationwide marketing campaign, Beaty was awarded a $25,000 grant he would be able to use to renovate Kick Start Martial Arts.

With the winnings, Beaty was able to install new bench seating for parents and spectators and new interlocking gym mat tiles for his students. Additionally, cabinets and shelving were installed to help keep equipment organized, and the gym’s bathroom received a new cabinet, mirror, and light fixtures. And with updated technology and security measures, KSMA students will continue to have a safe place to develop their martial arts skills for years to come.

Kick Start Martial Arts is not a sports program, Beaty clarifies. “It is a program to help young men and women to become strong young adults that can handle failure, success, how to carry themselves in a way that creates a sense of credibility and integrity,” he said.

Around a hundred people showed up to a special Feb. 17 event at Beaty’s newly renovated Grant Park location. During the event, which recognized Beaty as one of Wells Fargo’s Community Builders, Beaty’s supporters and members of the public were welcomed to interact with Beaty and his students, as well as observe the training programs he and his team operate for children in the community.

“There’s no such thing as I did it all by myself,” Beaty explained, fully acknowledging that Wells Fargo recognizing him for his community efforts will in turn impact how he’s training the next generation how to give back.

“I’d like to thank Wells Fargo for their commitment to small businesses. From day one they sat down with me and discussed how we would do things,” he said. “They gave me a great architect firm. I’m growing now but with this renovation, I believe I’m gonna explode.

“Now with all the state-of-the-art technology, the new mats, the fresh paint on the doors, and seeing my customers happy, I’m gonna be more proud than I’ve ever been before,” he beamed. “This is my business is my dream. I mean I never thought I could do this.”

Contact Mr. Beaty at,
Kick Start Martial Arts:
749 Moreland Ave, SE, Suite 103 (Ormewood Square)
Atlanta, GA 30316

Phone: (404) 664-3485
Fax: (404) 223-3745

Office Hours:
Monday – Friday 4:00PM to 8:30PM
Saturday – 9:00am to 12:30pm

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Dawn has ascended through the ranks at the The Atlanta Voice. Starting out as Sports Editor in 2017, Montgomery currently serves as the Chief Brand Officer. Montgomery earned a Bachelor's degree from Oglethorpe...

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