Martial arts community helps shape lives

Killeen, Texas (KWTX) Martial Zen in Killeen has been helping families bond and attack problems head on for years.

Photo by Tianna Jenkins

The family based academy teaches children patience, discipline and what it really means to be dedicated to the sport.

Renee Michaels and her 12-year-old son has been a part of the academy for nine years. Her son Mickael Tatum has Asperger’s Syndrome and the thought of how much he has grown through the program brought tears to her eyes.

“It’s been a journey for us because of his disabilities and the things that he’s gone through. My son was at a high spectrum and now he’s at level one,” Michaels said.

“So he is kind of growing out of his Asperger and I owe it to this school a lot.”

She says that she can see a tremendous change in his behavior. He opens the doors for people and will evaluate a situation before just acting out.

Earl Henderson is the head instructor at the Killeen location. He says martial arts requires patience, dedication and discipline.

He also says over the years he has seen the sport change children’s behavior and bring families together.

“They improve in confidence, they improve in discipline, they improve in manors, they improve in just being more respectful and the parents that come and stay learn as well,” Henderson said.

The academy’s ultimate goal is to build up the community and have a positive influence on children.

“We’re professional martial art artist whose goal is to build our community by making it our community black belt strong,” Henderson said.

“Making sure that they are becoming examples and being the type…

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