By Macy Goodnight
Chris Velez, 5th degree black belt, Cole Cirilo, 1st degree black belt, Lexi Vincent, 2nd degree black belt, Nick Welscher, Jr. 2nd degree black belt.
At Martial Arts Academy – Family Training Center in Owasso, the core mission is to help parents raise confident leaders and adults to reach their true potential. They believe that any student at any age or maturity can achieve real success through challenging oneself through experience. Their unique programs encourage training for the whole family in a supportive, uplifting environment.
Martial Arts Academy, located at 9100 North Garnett Road, has been inspiring both young and old to become the best versions of themselves since 2003. Owner and instructor, Chris Velez, has a passion for what he does and has been practicing martial arts most of his life. “The thing that separates us the most from other places is our emphasis on family,” he said. “We encourage families to come and train together as a unit. We have a few grandparents here who are students alongside their own kids, and grandkids.” Unlike any other program of its kind, the programs at Martial Arts Academy are conducted with parents and children together in the same class, without separation. The curriculum has proven successful not only for the added benefits of encouragement and leadership but as an amazing way for a family to come together for a rewarding experience together.
Training at Martial Arts Academy can begin as young as 4 years old, and the oldest student currently is 71. “Most of our students are parents of a child enrolled here and weren’t intending on training themselves. They were then inspired to get involved after watching and realizing they could do it too,” said Chris. “Our programs provide challenging training in a family environment, with like-minded individuals. It’s less intimidating and far more encouraging.”
Martial Arts Academy caters to all experience levels, including those with no prior training, and even those just getting started with no fitness level at all. “Training together as a family, with other families, encourages success in a safe environment,” Chris said. “We help to build tenacity – that’s where real confidence comes from.” With leadership training at the forefront of all their training, the children often look up to the adults in the class, and the parents naturally rise to the challenge as mentors. “We support a culture of never-ending improvement,” said Chris. “We practice being our very best from the moment we walk-in the door here.”
Cory and Lisette Welscher were first involved by supporting their young son and student, watching him train in martial arts. When they realized that the entire family would benefit and have genuinely valuable time together, they were all in. “There is a very good process here for doing this as a family,” said Cory. “You’re able to move up and grow as a unit.” The Welschers have all accomplished first degree black belt, and are all working through Certified Instructor Training. Altogether, they are most impressed with the leadership values, communication skills, emotional intelligence, self-discipline, physical fitness, and so much more they have attained together at the training center. “If you’re looking for a place that engages family, and want something to do together, this is a great place to start,” said Cory. “Mr. Velez is at the top of his league and could have gone in any direction, but he values the people and their growth more than anything else. He’s really created a little community here.”
For more information on training and family programs at Martial Arts Academy, visit their website at www.martialartsacademy.net, or follow them on Facebook @MartialArtsAcademyFTC.