You've got choices, so why choose us? That's EASY!
- We Are Unique
The combination of our down to earth teaching style, practical techniques and fun, friendly atmosphere mean you won't find better training anywhere, at any price!
- We are Accessible
Our system is designed for all ages and levels of physical ability. This is a martial arts system that is truly for regular people. You don't need to be an athlete or iron man to learn our system.
- We are a Family
Our classes are friendly and supportive. Instructors are there to guide you and fellow students are there to support you. You will have fun, grow, and make friends!
The first thing people think of when they think of martial arts is punching and kicking. I know when I first thought about training I had visions of my favorite action movie star punching like a heavy weight, kicking through walls, and executing lightning fast maneuvers. It wouldn't be for years that I realized that how much more there is to true martial arts training.
At the Guardian Academy, we work with our students to develop preparedness in every sense. Of course we must train the body and learn martial technique, but that is just part of the answer. Along the way we must also train the mind. The most effective way to win in self defense situations is not to get in to them in the first place. It is only the mind that can be used to achieve this greatest success. While we work to develop speed, strength and stamina in the body, we will also develop the mind in simple, common sense ways. These practical, common sense methods for analyzing situations in life are some of the most impactful parts of our training.
I hold the rank of 4th Dan in Hapkido (4th degree black belt), and I am the head instructor at Guardian Academy. I have studied Hapkido - the basis of our program - for more than 12 years. I also hold a black belt in a Fillipino weapons fighting system called Kombatan (also known as Escrima), and have trained in Aiki-Jujutsu and Aikido.
I have been teaching Hapkido for 9 years. A native of the Chicago area, my training and teaching was done at San-Mai in Nebraska where I lived for the last 14 years. In that time, I have trained many students from beginners through black belts and learned much about martial arts education. Martial arts, like many of the arts, is knowledge that exists in the mind and body only. Concepts can be written in books, or recorded on video, but can only truly be learned and passed on by word of mouth and the interaction of live partners. It is a calling for me to pass this knowledge on to others, and I take it seriously.
Be sure to check out the link at the top of the page for some feedback I have received from former students. If you would like to contact them for a reference please contact me and I can arrange it.
I have been studying Hapkido since 2002. I hold the rank of 3rd Dan (3rd degree black belt). As a busy wife and mom, I know how hard it is to find time to exercise, but I also know how important it is to set aside time for yourself to get moving, learn something new, and have fun. I believe our system is perfect for almost everyone, but especially women. The moves are simple enough to learn and build on each other, and you never have to rely on being stronger than your opponent. We also present them in very practical ways, applying it to new and potentially real scenarios (for example, defending against a purse snatcher or being threatened with a knife or gun)). The best part is that even in just your first class you will walk away with a couple basic techniques that will give you confidence to keep yourself safe.
Our students come from all walks of life. The youngest a student can be in our program 13, and the oldest student we have taught was 67 years old (he is still training!). It doesn't matter your level of education, experience, gender, or your level of athleticism. What is important is your attitude. The program we teach is meant to foster a safe, supportive, 'family' environment. In fact, many families choose to train together. Our students form bonds of respect with each other, and the group tends to become a 'family' of its own type. While we take our training seriously, this is not a 'hard core', 'boot camp' or 'dungeon-do' program. We have lots of fun on this journey.
Just like with any other sport of physical activity, people of all athletic abilities can participate. The concepts of Hapkido are specifically designed to work for a lifetime. Whatever your level of athleticism is now, it will likely be less when you reach retirement age. Since we cannot rely on youthful energy and strength forever, we do not require you possess it to begin! Your body, even very fit bodies, will adapt as you train.
At Guardian Academy, we teach the principles of Hapkido. Hapkido is a Korean martial art, which translates to 'the way of coordinated energy'. This is a 'soft' style, meaning instead of relying on heavy hitting, high flying kicks and punches, we redirect the energy our opponent gives us, adding it to our own with minimum effort and maximum efficiency. By doing this, regardless of size, we are always more powerful than our enemy. This is why such a broad range of people - men, women, young, old, big or small - can succeed. We use our mental edge and -if it comes to it- what power we have combined with the energy of our opponent, to overcome adversarial situations.
The empty-hand techniques we teach focus on circular motion, joint locks, trapping, efficient counterstrikes, and distractions. We also practice ground survival - how to survive/fight if we are knocked to the ground. Multiple attacker drills are practiced as students advance through the ranks. The techniques are presented in very common sense ways to allow the mind and body to learn them, but always with proper context in mind. Scenario based training is part of the program at all levels - this is the best way understand the real-world application of what you learn in class. In addition to traditional empty-hand techniques, the program includes basic weapons training - such as knife, short stick, cane, and improvised weapons. We also teach some techniques to disarm an adversary armed with a firearm.
Most importantly, in every class - from your first white belt class to the last one you will ever take- regardless of how many black belts you have - you will learn something new that you can apply in the real world.
Classes are ongoing - that means you can start at any time. You do not need to wait for a 'session' to begin. Our classes are set up to provide a significant amount of individual attention, which means each student can work at their own level and get the guidance they need from the instructor. Another great outcome of this class structure is that everyone gets the chance to learn something new and review something known in every class.
We are affiliated with the International Combat Hapkido Federation. You can read more about them at ICHF/DSI. This program is the core of our teachings, but we go well beyond the minimum requirements.
Classes meet every Monday and Wednesday at 7:45pm. The program is ongoing - start any time!! Check out our Events page for class times and other special happenings!
Regular classes meet at Pilates Center of NWI - 449 East Summit Street, Crown Point, IN 46307