Despite hearing all the statistics about the failure rate of small businesses, entrepreneur Kevin Hudson defied the odds.
“As we all know, 80 percent of all small businesses fail in the first five years,” Hudson says, adding, “We’ve been open for 15 years now and I’m proud of that fact.”
The business that this 1994 USC Upstate graduate is talking about is the Hurricane Martial Arts Center, which has two locations in Lyman and Taylors, S.C.
Kevin opened the center in 1992 while an undergraduate student. He is president of the center, supervises five employees, and is responsible for training the staff, teaching classes, coordinating special events, marketing and public relations. He’s also been known to take out the trash, when necessary. Students can learn the martial arts, karate, tae kwon do, kick boxing and kung fu.
Kevin’s degree was in business administration/management and he says his years at USC Upstate taught him a great deal about time management.
“When you are taking college classes, working, and training to compete as a professional kick boxer, time is tight. USC Upstate helped me learn to budget my time effectively,” says Kevin.
In addition to owning and operating the martial arts training center, Kevin is a licensed pilot who will “go rent a plane every once in a while and just fly around for the fun of it.” He is married to Shannon, also an Upstate graduate (1993 – business, and 2005 – nursing), and they have two children, ages six and two. Kevin is also president of the Spartanburg County Republican Party in his precinct.
In addition to being Kevin Hudson’s younger brother, Shannon Hudson is also his business partner, co-owner, manager, and all-around “you-name-it” at the Hurricane Martial Arts Center where he helps to “enhance people’s lives through professional martial arts training.”
Shannon graduated from USC Upstate in 2003 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on education, business and communications. His says his time at the university taught him to “persevere when things get tough” and his advisor left a lasting impression on him, helping him make it to graduation day, his fondest memory.
Shannon followed in his brother’s footsteps after graduation – and joined his mother – in running the Hurricane Martial Arts Center. Shannon says that producing a profitable business has been one of his biggest accomplishments, after graduating from college.
Shannon enjoys taking the center’s positive message to elementary schools and churches where they offer self-defense training. Shannon resides in Duncan, S.C.