Master Brzegowy was inducted to the U.S.A. Martial Arts Alliance Hall of Fame as the 2013 Tae Kwon Do Instructor of the Year.
Mr. New began his training in 1990 at Lee’s Martial Arts in Bloomington, Indiana. Trained in the traditional Korean art of Hapkido, Mr. New currently holds a 3rd degree Black Belt.
Mr. New has been an instructor for many years and believes one of the greatest benefits of his martial arts training is being able to share what he has learned with other people. Mr. New is now semi-retired and is a guest instructor and Hapkido judge at Guardian.
Mr. Cooper began his training at the Bloomington Karate Center, in a small building across the street from the Penquin (which is now called the Chocolate Moose). In 1975 he received a Certificate of Achievement for exhibiting superior Tae Kwon Do skills and having an excellent attendance record, training 2-4 hours per day. Mr. Cooper earned his 1st Dan Black Belt in 1976 under Master Mu-Gil Lee, Master Ki-Duk Lee, Master Il Shik Kim, Master Park and Master Kwok. Says Mr. Cooper, “the expectations of the Korean Masters, well, let’s just say they didn’t just hand out belts, you earned them!” Mr. Cooper earned his 3rd Dan TKD Black Belt in 2017 at Guardian Martial Arts under Masters Johnson and Brzegowy.
Mr. Scheid, a 2nd Dan TKD Black Belt, began his martial arts training in 1984 at the Korean Tae Kwon Do Academy (KTA) in Washington, IN earning his 1st Dan Black Belt in 1988. He has also trained in Ryukyu Kempo (Green Belt), Modern Arnis, Shaolin Kung Fu and Hapkido (Green Belt) while staying active in marital arts through 1997. Mr. Scheid joined Guardian Martial Arts Studio in 2015 after a long break and prompting from his wife, Christy, and son, Sawyer, who is also a student at Guardian.
Mr. Scheid is living proof that it’s never too late to (re)start. Mr. Scheid enjoys incorporating his mixed-martial arts and physical science (engineering PhD) background into the traditional Tae Kwon Do taught to the students at GMAS.
Mr. Shepard has been studying martial arts for 10 years, first studying Hapkido under Grandmaster Kwan Seek Hyun and Master Soon-Joon Ahn in Chicago. He continued training in Bloomington under instructor Arlo Welty and currently holds a 2nd degree black belt in Hapkido, working under Master Bryan Robertson. Mr. Shepard also studies and holds rank in Taekwondo under Master Robertson and JKD/Kali/Eskcrima in the Martial Concepts method under Arlo Welty. Mr. Shepard further studies Datu Kelly Worden's Natural Spirit International/Worden Defense System and Pekiti Tirsia kali under NSI Indiana director of training Ryan Massette. During his time in the ranks, Mr. Shepard has worked security and VIP bodyguarding at several local venues. He hopes to bring a range of knowledge and practical real-world application/experience to let the student master key fundamental elements of the art. In understanding the deeper concepts and principles, they might better "connect the systems".
You can imagine that as the eldest child of Master Brzegowy, Miss Brzegowy’s martial arts training began at a very early age! She is currently a 1st dan in Tae Kwon Do. Miss Brzegowy is a graduate of Indiana University and is a Deputy with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. One of the students' favorite "surprise" guest instructors, Miss Brzegowy has definitely inherited her father's "grueling" but amazingly fun style of teaching. In addition to guest appearances, she serves as a promotion test judge at GMAS when her schedule allows.
Miss Thrasher started her martial arts training when Guardian first opened in Harrodsburg in 2012. She consistently trained 4-5 classes per week since she began her training, and became the first student to complete the entire GMAS program, earning her 1st Dan TKD
Black Belt in 2016. She is the former Lil Kicks assistant instructor, and currently serves as a promotion test judge when her schedule allows. Miss Thrasher is currently studying elementary education at Indiana University.
Mr. Damon Ketcham
Mr. Ketcham originally enrolled his son in Tae Kwon Do at GMAS, and after awhile decided it would be a fun thing to do alongside his son, and so began martial arts training himself. Mr. Ketcham is highly committed to teaching martial arts at GMAS, and was not only the first student to progress through Guardian's program -- from white belt to Black belt, he was also the first at GMAS to earn Black belt rank in both Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido almost simultanously: Mr. Ketcham earned his 1st Dan TKD Black belt on June 30, 2017, and
1st Dan HKD Black belt on July 14, 2017.
Mr. Swain was Guardian's very first enrolled student in 2012, and trained consistently during his five year journey to Black Belt. He did take some time off to (successfully) campaign for Monroe County Sheriff, but was quickly back in the dojang. Mr. Swain earned his 1st Dan TKD Black belt on June 30, 2017 at Guardian, and is working towards achieving his 1st Dan in Hapkido, as well.
Miss Richelle Elkes
Miss Richele Elkes began her journey to Black belt at Lee's Martial Arts as a white belt, transferring to Guardian Martial Arts Studio when she was a blue belt. She brings her witty and whimsical charm to the dojang, makes hard workouts look like fun, and is a fierce competitor. Miss Richelle Elkes achieved her 1st Dan TKD Black Belt on May 19, 2017 at Guardian Martial Arts Studio. Miss Elkes and her sister, Miss Kenzie, assists Master Johnson with weekly Lil Kicks instruction.
A member of the U.S. Navy, a full time career at NSWC Crane, and several lengthy overseas assignments along the way, makes Mr. Schneidt's faithful and consistent training in martial arts all the more remarkable. He earned his 1st Dan in Hapkido at GMAS on September 8, 2017, and continues to train in both Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do (currently a Red/Black belt). Mr. Schneidt instructs Hapkido each week, and it should be noted that he and his wife, Kim, and their five children, all train together in martial arts at Guardian.
Miss Guidry began her journey with Guardian Martial Arts as an observer, watching her younger brother in the Lil Kicks program. After encouragement from Master Johnson, Miss Guidry began to participate, as well. On February 2, 2018, she became the first student to progress from the Lil Kicks program all the way to Black belt. Additionally, she holds the rank of yellow belt in Hapkido. Miss Guidry balances her martial arts training with her school studies and a passion for art. She joins fellow Black belt instructors by assisting Master Johnson with Lil Kicks instruction.
GMAS-trained students not only excel in executing their techniques --
to the full extent of their ability -- they are expected to exemplify the honor of their martial art in everyday life, as well. Master Johnson is currently a 5th Dan Black Belt Master in Tae Kwon Do, and 2nd Dan in Hapkido. Whether you are taking martial arts classes to get in shape, gain confidence and strength, or you intend to fortify yourself to train very hard to achieve your black belt, Master Johnson is committed to helping you attain your goals. Commit to do your part and give your best, a consistent 110% effort. We guarantee to provide you 110% of ours. Your goals ARE within your reach.
“There is no magic that happens when you tie a belt around your waist. Just putting on a black belt doesn't make you a Black Belt. I want our students to be proud of each belt they earn, and everyone at GMAS will help them to be the best martial artist they can be.”
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