Bally's TMA (Total Martial Arts) Northwest Crossing, Houston Tx
by David Fiscus
(Houston, Tx USA)
2009 Power Breaking Grand Champion - 20 broken boards with Elbow
Bally's total Fitness offers TMA in 50 (and growing) of its health clubs in the USA.
TMA basically means they can teach you Taekwondo (TKD) or Hapkido.
I have been a member of Bally's health club since 1977, but really discovered by accident that they offered TKD classes. My wife and I started working out together after a lengthy layoff, and I was finding that at the age of 53, I could not push myself as hard as I needed to, in order to lose the weight I must lose.
When signing in at the club one day, I observed a couple people wearing "Karate" uniforms. As fate would have it, my wife knew one of the guys. We stopped him and started asking questions. He was polite and friendly, though I could see in his eyes some doubt when I mentioned I was thinking of joining the class. At 53 and 381 pounds, I couldn't blame him.
But I also did not let that deter me. I watched the Master teach the children’s class for a couple days, I was very impressed with his skill, sense of humor and patience.
Having the class in a health club has a lot of benefits. You can walk or jog around the track to warm up, or visit the hot tub before or after class. Of course showers and lockers are on site as well, so if you need to go somewhere after class, you can get cleaned up.
Parents can also workout while their children are in the taekwondo class.
Another benefit Bally's TMA offers, is on site complimentary child care. For parents this is a real blessing.
Because Bally's number of schools, they hold their own martial arts tournaments twice a year.
Any participant is a winner, which means they breakdown the competitions into 3 person events, winning Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals. The Gold medal winners advance until there is a Grand Champion. But no one goes home empty handed. The feeling is that if you choose to compete, you should be commended and rewarded, because there are students who don't compete.
The Grand Master emphasizes that the goal is to try to improve, and to that end, you are a winner if you compete and perform to the best of your abilities.
Another thing I like about Bally's TMA is their commitment to help parents raising children. Each child is given a journal, and in the journals are sheets of paper with check off lists. Items found on the list are things like, did you do your homework from school? Did you clean your room? Did you tell your Parents you love them? And many other things.
During the children’s class, before they can be dismissed they must address their parents, bow to them, then hug them and tell them they love them. Then address the Master and bow to him. Generally the kids mob the master and hug him before they leave for the evening.
David FiscusDeb's reply
Bally's TMA sounds like a great place to learn martial arts. Learning taekwondo and hapkido together helps you become a great all round martial artist.
I love the emphasis on family and how you are all encouraged to test yourselves and your martial art by competing.
Thanks again for telling us about your school.