Nationals in Harrison, Arkansas

July 31-August 1 was an incredible weekend for my 10 year old student at MAI North. He had qualified for the national tae kwon do tournament back in April. He had been training with Instructor Dave for the national tournament for the last three months. My son was entered in four events: forms, Olympic sparring, point sparring, and foam sword sparring. Forms and Olympic sparring were on Friday. My son got first place in forms and third place in Olympic sparring. On Saturday, he finished first in point sparring and foam sword sparring. So, for the National tournament he had 3 first place finishes and one third. Not a bad performance for a ten year old!!

But to me, more important to me are two items. First is the confidence he has acquired since starting at MAI North 18 months ago. He is much more sure of himself and his confidence has grown exponentially. Secondly, are the friendships that he has made. Both with other students as well as myself with other parents. For both of these items, we have Instructor Dave and Miss Andrea to thank. They instill an air of friendship, confidence, and confidence at MAI North.


Train Like a Champion

It seems like only yesterday, I retired from the corporate world and opened my Taekwondo school. The last three years have just flown by. My goal when I opened up was to have a positive impact on my students and to introduce the world of martial arts to as many people as I could. There is just something about seeing students start from having never done martial arts before and accomplish goals they never dreamed they could achieve.

Being a tournament competitor myself (at age 50) I understand the role that tournaments play in a student’s development. Tournaments are not everyone’s cup of tea and I would never push a student into a situation where they are set up to fail, but those who participate in them have flourished. In 3 short years, I have seen students who could barely handle the basics turn into NASTA National Champions!

This year was an amazing year for our tournament team. We participated in numerous tournaments including the NASTA State and National tournaments. We brought a small team of 15 students to the state tournament and finished 3rd overall out of 23 teams and crowned 11 State Champions. This was against teams of 20 – 30 students! At Nationals we brought a team of 13 competitors and crowned 9 National Champions some of whom won multiple titles, which was simply amazing. Especially since some of these students have been training less than 2 years!

I am so proud of what my team and students have accomplished in such a short time. The most amazing thing to me is how even in an individual sport like Taekwondo, they train and compete as a team. The support and encouragement from the parents is remarkable, they cheer and encourage for our whole team not just their kids. The culture and atmosphere at Martial Arts Institute – North is nothing but positive. Our motto this year is Train Like A Champion. To me every single one of my students, coaches, and parents are exactly that…CHAMPIONS!

Saturday Sparring Clinic

My son absolutely loves sparring weeks at MAI North. It is by far his favorite week of the six week rotation. He has competed in sparring at several tournaments and has an assortment of trophies and medals to show for his hard work.

He would not have been as successful without the guidance of Instructor Dave. He has the patience of a saint. He takes the time to show his students the proper way to perform a task and coaches the students to become proficient and confident is what they are doing.

As an example, Dave was introducing point sparring to his students. It was a new concept to them. To allow his students the greatest change to learn, he organized a sparring clinic from 2-4 on a Saturday afternoon. I’m sure that he was surprised to see the attendance. He had about 20 students at this clinic! He could have just taught point sparring during regular class time. But, he didn’t feel that was enough. He took time from his personal life and opened MIA North on a Saturday afternoon. The students had a great time, learned a lot about a new concept, and also got the chance to put their new skills to use by sparring against each other.

MAI North goes above and beyond what is typically expected for a Tae Kwon Do school and that is why I think it is the best place for my son to train. And I’m so proud that Dave is their instructor.

Spring Break Camp

Spring break has come and gone, but the attendees at MAI North’s spring break camp have great memories of camp at MAI North. For a very reasonable fee, the kids spent all day at camp and had several field trips.


Each day the kids had an activity to do in the morning then had their lunch. After lunch, then they went on a field trip. Some of the destinations were: Lakeside Nature Center, Airplane Museum, Nelson Atkins Museum, and Franklin Park. The Kids all had a super fun time and learned a lot. What an awesome way to spend their spring break with their friends and fellow students.


MAI North provides several services like spring break camp. Such as: summer camp, and parent’s night out.   All the services are very reasonably priced and convenient Not many Tae Kwon Do schools offer the services that MAI North does, and for that I am very thankful.

Summer camps run all summer long. Learn more at

Pursuing the Dream of Black Belt

I can’t believe that my son has been in Tae Kwon Do for a little over a year. He began coming to MAI North in February of 2014. He knew nothing about martial arts, but wanted to try it at the urging of his best friend. His friend was a student at the school.

My son took an instant liking to MAI North. He loves the positive instruction from Instructor Dave. That also includes the instruction from Miss Andrea and older students. He has had a tremendous increase in his confidence level. When he began at the school he was a bit unsure of himself. Now, he knows that there is nothing that he can’t achieve if he tries his best. He has attended several tournaments and been very successful.

He began as a lowly white belt. Today, he is a purple belt. His dream is to become a black belt! With his dedication and Instructor Dave’s instruction and guidance, I am sure that one day (maybe soon!) his dream will be a reality. And a major accomplishment!

Springfield Tournament

On Saturday, March 21, Instructor Dave took several students to a tournament in Springfield, Missouri. It was the first point sparring tournament that the students had been to. Several of the students came home with trophies and they all came home with several medals. Point sparring was a new experience for the students and still several placed in their divisions. Instructor Dave also competed and placed first in his events.


The van left MAI North at 5:30 am. They arrived back early. It was about 3:00pm. The students all had a great time and learned a lot from their experiences. Thanks to Dave for taking the students to and from Springfield.

Belt Testing January 24, 2015

As my son is now an intermediate level student, belt testing has become even more interesting and enjoyable. On January 24th, my son tested for his purple belt. In addition to keenly watching his test, I found myself watching the tests of the other students. I have seen enough Tae Kwon Do to be able to have a good idea of what is required for passing a test. It is interesting to watch the lower belts to see where my son once was. It is also interesting to watch the higher belts to see what is next for my son.

My son passed his test and earned his purple belt. So, I get to watch him grow in the next few months with hopefully a high purple belt on the horizon!

Tom. O., MAI North parent