Beyond Fighting Technique
Martial Arts Academy: ‘I don’t care how many trophies my students have.’
Several martial arts schools have opened and closed in the area in the last few years. At this point, Barnegat is home to two of them, whose owners say they plan to stick around.
If you or your children ever considered karate as a way to boost self-esteem, learn self-defense, or stay physically fit and active, find out what makes each of the town's karate schools unique.
This article is the second installment in a two-part series about the town's karate schools. A little while ago we profiled “Shotokan Karate.”
MARTIAL ARTS ACADEMY
Address: 34 South Main Street, Barnegat
Owner: Master John Holland, 41, of Toms River. Before turning martial arts into a full-time career, Holland worked in corporate sales. "I felt all I was doing with my life was making
money," Holland says. "I wasn’t giving back, wasn't really producing anything. I was teaching part-time as an instructor, and I knew I had a teaching gift, and so I
thought, 'hey, why don’t I make this my way of life?'
Holland is 5th Dan in Black Cat Kenpo. He started training at the age of 12. Though he did most of his training with the U.S. Black Cat Kenpo, Holland also studied Judo and Jiu-Jitsu.
Style and philosophy:
United States Black Cat Kenpo is an American blend of traditional styles, including Koren Tae kwon do, Jiujitsu, Okinawan Kenpo, collegiate wrestling and others.
"It’s an eclectic style, and it's geared toward street-based self-defense," Holland says. "It's not a sport-based style, we’re not teaching you how to score points -- even
though we do compete in a tournament once a year -- mostly though, we’re teaching you how to survive and hold your own in a fight. Black Cat Kenpo is
real-life self-defense that will get you home at night. Ultimately, I don’t care how many trophies my students have, if I see them stand their ground,
that’s my trophy. If I see them become a better person, that's my trophy."
What sets his school apart is "the quality of instruction," Holland says.
History: Holland first opened the school in Manahawkin in 2002, then moved the facility here to Barnegat just last year.
For more information: (609)549-0279