Martin Farber and his family |
on a Tae Kwon Do trip to Korea
By Lesta Cordil, Corporate Communications
Martin Farber gets his kick out of life in more ways than one.
Known as "Mr. Oracle," Martin works in the Oracle Tuning & Architecture group, which he formed when he joined priceline.com as an IT consultant three years ago. He's also a student and aficionado of an ancient Korean Martial Art of Tae Kwon Do.
Utilizing both physical and mental exercises as a method of self-defense, Tae Kwon Do emphasizes high kicks, jumping kicks, spinning and stepping kicks to subdue opponents. It became an Olympic sport last year.
Martin has been studying Tae Kwon Do for about a year and in the process has lost about 70 pounds. The exercises also are good for maintaining mental agility, which Martin needs plenty of in his consulting role for Qualitec Inc. at priceline.
"I think Mike Diliberto was the first to call me Mr. O. After that, nobody knew my name. After I solved my first crisis at priceline, I remember hearing (CIO) Ron Rose say that, 'What Martin doesn't know is ... I've got someone in the parking lot taking the tires off his car.' That was the end of life as I knew it," Martin says, laughing.
Martin has been consulting for a variety of industries for 30 years, but he's fondest of his time with priceline. He lives and breathes his work. His license plate is MRORACLE and his web site and email addresses are - what else? - http://www.mroracle.com and Martin.Farber@MrOracle.com
Long work hours here and for two of priceline's former subsidiaries meant less time at home and lots of free evenings for his family. So his daughters began studying Tae Kwon Do. And soon his wife was spending so much time at the Dojang - the gym at the Tae Kwon Do school - that she decided to take up the martial art as well.
"Later when work hours became closer to 9-to-5, I not only needed to get back on some kind of exercise regimen, but I needed to be able to defend myself at home!" Martin says.
A word to the wise: Don't mess with Martin's family. His wife is training as a Tae Kwon Do Black Belt, en route to becoming a Master Instructor. Daughters, Phoebe, 10, already holds a Black Belt, and Hallie, 7, is a Black Belt candidate.
"It's fun working out with my family, and they say that the 'Family that Kicks Together Sticks Together'!" Martin says.
This weekend, Martins' Tae Kwon Do school is hosting a Kick-a-Thon and International Championship Exhibition for a good cause: the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The MDA Kick-a-Thon starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, February 9, in front of J.C. Penney's in the Palisades Mall in West Nyack, followed by several other Tae Kwon Do competitions.
Students are getting people to sponsor them to perform 1,000 kicks. Martin's family is participating in many of the events.
"This is a "friendly" competition where participants are making donations to MDA to enter. Both observers and competitors are welcome," he says.
Martin has a personal interest in helping find a cure for muscular dystrophy: " A close family friend of mine suffered greatly with the condition and didn't make it through her 30s. Some charities spend more of what they collect than they pass on for research. MDA nets 80 percent of what is collected."
If you'd like to find out more about the Muscular Dystrophy kick-a-thon or are interested in taking Tae Kwon Do, contact Martin.