March 01, 2021
The Learning Channel’s “My 600-LB Life” Puts Local Martial Arts Studio in the National Limelight
The Woodlands, Texas - Rick Prieto, the owner of Karate of The Woodlands, recently made his debut in the national spotlight when The Learning Channel (TLC) featured a man from Conroe, Michael Blair, in its popular series "My 600-LB Life."
On Jan. 27, Prieto and his daughter, Lacey, received a call from the show's producers asking if they could use the Karate of The Woodlands to film a portion of an upcoming episode since martial arts had become Blair’s activity of choice throughout his weight loss journey. Of all the martial arts studios in Montgomery County, they chose Karate of The Woodlands, voted six years straight as Best Martial Arts studio in the area to be part of Blair’s endeavor. The episode premiered on Feb. 24 on DiscoveryPlus and Amazon.
"We didn't think twice about it and invited Michael and the TLC crew to film in our studio," said Prieto. "Our team was honored to be part of Michaels' story and want to continue to be a resource for him as an outlet for physical fitness and goal setting.”
The martial arts school gave Blair one free month of studio access to continue working towards his goals. In addition, Prieto, 75, a ninth-degree black belt, mentored by Chuck Norris in the martial arts and one of Norris’ senior black belts, ran Blair through a workout and developed a script of what Blair wanted to accomplish.
"You can think of a script in martial arts like you would a vision board, "said Prieto. "It helps map out exactly what it is you want to achieve and helps you stay focused on the present."
Because martial arts forces you to stay in the present moment, Prieto has found many people are turning to karate as an outlet of choice as we continue to navigate the pandemic and its many ripple effects, including mental illness.
"We've all been isolated for some time, and some of us need an outlet to cope," said Prieto. "When you practice martial arts, you develop a particular positive mindset, a different way of thinking. You not only get your blood flowing but can release the emotional stress that's weighing you down."
As people begin to start slowly breaking quarantine, Karate of The Woodlands has become an extended family of sorts for many clients.
"We're there for our members on and off the mat," said Prieto. "Our team has been able to create a sense of community for adults and kids alike at a time when people need it the most."
Throughout his career, Prieto has helped many individuals learn self-defense, get in shape, and battle depression and anxiety through martial arts. Prieto says that karate requires a certain amount of discipline, which can successfully be transferred to other areas of your life and gives you the confidence to conquer fears and self-doubt.
Karate of The Woodlands is located at 4747 Research Forest Dr. Suite 125. With COVID-19 protocols in place, the studio is offering both virtual and online classes.
For more information, visit karatewoodlands.com
or call 281-362-0066. To watch the episode of “My 600-LB Life, visit www.tlc.com/tv-shows/my-600-lb-life/