headshot_michael_wowAbout the Speaker

Michael Hodge has somewhat of an unexpected background. He grew up practicing martial arts and excelling in writing as a child. At age 14 he began to teach martial arts to kids; and did so for 8 years – becoming recognized as one of the nation’s top children’s martial arts instructors.  Michael is also a celebrated elementary school public speaker; having done presentations for over 40,000 children since 2009. He commonly speaks about goal setting, as it is a common theme in his life; along with the importance of reading together, and the power of becoming bilingual.

By working with hundreds of Latino families at his Texas-based martial arts academy, he was able to gain a true perspective on how bilingual education impacts childrens’ lives. This also led him to learning Spanish as an adult, which he states, “is much more challenging than for children, and I will still not refer to myself as a fluent speaker.” His life’s work is with children, designing purposeful curriculum, and helping others reach their goals.

You can see some of Michael’s published books here.

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Fast Facts

  • Has visited more than 100 elementary schools and presented to 40,000+ students
  • Michael has published over 30 children’s books and eBooks. The Bilingual Benny series, along with many other educational eBooks
  • Taught martial arts for over 9 years, specifically to children, and instructed at his own academy for five years
  • Has two beautiful children and lives in sizzling hot North Texas

A Brief Interview with Michael Hodge

Why are you an elementary school speaker?

To stand in front of 100 kids, in a completely silent room, everyone focused and hanging on to the next word. Watching kids laugh and learn, and actually have fun listening to important information. Coming back to a school the next year and finding out the trouble-student is now on the right track. Having kids run up to me and want to give me a hug or a high five after I talk, with so much gratitude. If I make a dramatic impact on at least one child’s life every time I speak, I feel that my life is meaningful. To ignite a spark of motivation in each child – letting them know that they truly have the power to do anything in their life!

What led you to becoming a children’s book author?

A lot of things kind of meshed together at once. I have always enjoyed writing, being imaginative, and creative. I also have been teaching children for most of my life. I feel that I am actually good at working with children, not to sound boastful, so it motivates me to do even more. My daughter inspired me to create BookLingual, as I wanted to make sure she becomes completely bilingual, and a beacon for others around her. It seems like this is where I need to be.

So you’re a black belt and all of that?

Well, yes. I have been training in karate and other martial arts since I was 7. I love martial arts because they keep you physically fit, make you feel more confident in yourself, teach your true self-discipline, and make goal setting real.

Do you have any hobbies?

I try to. That can be hard when you run your own company and have kids. But…my favorite activity so to speak is skiing. I also love the Spanish language and am learning more everyday to reach my goal of total fluency. I love reading and just having fun with  my family.