Any good martial arts program teaches students respect and discipline, increases physical fitness, instills confidence, and provides quality instruction. When considering a program, students — or their parents — often seek a positive atmosphere, a friendly vibe, hard-working instructors, and a fun experience. In fact, if you peek into most area schools, these are the types of environments you will find.
All these ideals are in also evidence at the Elite TOMA dojang, but they are not the first thing visitors see. The ideals of community service, leadership, and excellence in character are obvious. For all of October, the entryway has been lined with boards as a reminder of the upcoming Break-a-thon, TOMA’s annual charity event. There is a prominently displayed white board showing off students entering the elite leadership program which accelerates training in both martial arts and life skills. Stay until the end of a kids’ class, and you will often hear Grand Master Jo lead a discussion on being a “black-belt leader.” Skills like respecting parents, helping out at home (without being told!), and making healthy choices are common topics. Anyone with excellent conduct at home and school is recognized in class, and those with behavior issues are privately coached to improve.
This intense focus on life skills creates an environment where students thrive across the board. At TOMA, superior martial arts skills are a gateway through which students learn social and emotional hardiness. Black-belt leaders at Elite TOMA are taught to be pillars of the community through rigorous instruction. And through it all, Master Jo maintains a positive atmosphere — a friendly, family-like vibe, and plenty of fun for all!