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Chris Ost

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Native Stocktonian Chris Ost, owner and instructor at American Martial Arts, recently sat down with HERLIFE Magazine to discuss his family, involvement in the community and dreams for the future.

HLM: What do you love most about where you and your family live?
CO: I like the diversity of our community and appreciate the talented people who have come from Stockton including athletes, singers, movie stars and millionaires!  

HLM: How is your heart inspired to serve the community?
CO: As an owner and instructor of American Martial Arts Academy, I hope to encourage every adult and child I come into contact with to be more confident, physically fit and be safe! In the 25+ years I have been teaching martial arts, I have watched my students achieve their dreams of being an Olympic champion, a NASA employee, a Navy Seal and a proud parent of another generation of a martial arts student.

HLM: What sparks joy for you?
CO: I enjoy spending time with my family and friends over a shared meal, enjoying a quiet night outside with my wife watching the sunset, and sitting in the morning sun while enjoying a cup of coffee.

HLM: What’s your free time passion?
CO: Enjoying the company of my family and friends.  

HLM: Top three bucket list goals?
CO: I would like to visit Bruce Lee’s resting place in Seattle, Washington; visit Graceland again; and return to Europe and spend a month exploring other new countries and revisiting ones I have been to before.

HLM: What’s the accomplishment that you’re most proud of?
CO: Opening my own martial arts school in 1996 after training, competing internationally and being recognized as one of the Top 10 fighters in the United States. The day I opened the doors to my own studio, I had almost 60 students. Within 18 months I had to expand my school to accommodate more than 150 students. At its peak, the school had close to 400 active members. We closed our doors during COVID; that hurt! But we are open again and welcoming new and old members back!

HLM: Can you describe a key event that had an impact on your life?
CO: Watching Enter the Dragon at the Stockton Royal Theatre in 1979 and starting my martial arts training that same year!

HLM: Do you have a favorite quote?
CO: “Instead of buying your child all the things you never had, you should teach them all the things you never learned.” ~Bruce Lee

HLM: What are you currently reading?
CO: JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plan to Assassinate John F. Kennedy by L. Fletcher Prouty

HLM: Favorite food or dessert?
CO: Italian food and dark chocolate