Teaching more than martial arts.
In the spring/summer of 2012, Master Gary Johnson had a vision. As he neared retirement from his career in law enforcement, he realized God was calling him to be instructing martial arts again in earnest. Several local church pastors were interested in the idea of extending Johnson mat time to teach, but liability and congregational issues kept him from finding a "free" location for teaching. It was 7/31/12 when Mrs. Johnson found an old corner building available for rent in Harrodsburg, Indiana, and that was the beginning of Guardian Martial Arts Studio (GMAS). Master Johnson personally selected and invited several talented black belt instructors to join him, and they excitedly came on board. The entire group of instructors each teaches from their heart, as volunteers and without receiving pay, because they share Master Johnson's belief that it is the passion of the instructors being passed down to the students, that makes them successful martial artists. Our "compensation" comes from seeing our students succeed.
Being located in rural Harrodsburg turned out to be a great thing. We quickly discovered many people wished for more in the area between Bloomington and Bedford, an underserved area that desperately needed activities families could do together. Two years later, in October, 2014, we were given an opportunity to increase our space and amenities while being able to stay within 3 miles of our original location. That was important. So at that time, we relocated to "Judah", where we also operated THE HIDEOUT, a banquet/ venue space that was available to the general public for hosting their own family activities. Revenue received from venue rentals defrayed the higher costs of the larger facility, insuring that GMAS would never become a school that compromises its martial arts integrity "just to pay the bills". GMAS believes it is far better to have QUALITY students, than be in a position to run after a Quantity of them. After the building in Judah was sold to a new owner, GMAS moved down the street and is now housed in the basement ("teen area") of the Valley Mission Church of the Nazarene in Judah, Indiana (it's technically Bedford, Indiana). This relationship has been a blessing to us personally, as well as for continuing the martial arts mission of GMAS.
In June of 2019 Master Johnson retired from the studio after years of service and dedication to creating a positive environment for families. He still attends to support test promotions and judging. Mr. James Shepard took over as owner/operator of the studio in July of 2019. Mr. Shepard strives to continue this legacy and mission in bringing quality martial arts/self defense instruction, positive character and personal development and a safe environment for all students.
We believe in the core values that traditional martial arts can offer, where respect and discipline are taught and expected every day. Along with that comes confidence and increased self-control. We help our students exercise good decision making, encourage family activities, and have even been called upon to help with homework. We are a Christian faith-based school, and believe the biblical teachings. We remind our martial arts students that the skills and techniques they learn are to be used with humility and not boasting; these skills are to be used only as a last resort. Students are taught how to protect themselves or to defend another human being, and must never use what they have learned inappropriately.
GUARDIAN MARTIAL ARTS STUDIO LLC. BUILDS STRONG, CONFIDENT AND DISCIPLINED MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN WHOSE SUCCESS AND WELL-BEING IS ADVANCED THROUGH PARTICIPATION IN VARIOUS PHYSICAL FITNESS AND/OR SPIRITUALLY ENRICHING ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, MARTIAL ARTS, HEALTH AND WELLNESS, SAFETY AWARENESS, EXPERT SEMINARS AND SPECIAL EVENTS. GUARDIAN MARTIAL ARTS STUDIO PROVIDES EDUCATION, SUPPORT AND REINFORCEMENT OF GOOD DECISION-MAKING SKILLS, SAFETY, PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT, A SPIRIT OF COOPERATION, RESPECT OF SELF AND OTHERS, AND PROVIDES EDUCATIONAL AND SPIRITUAL SUPPORT, MENTORING AND ADVOCACY FOR VARIOUS EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES.
TO IMPROVE OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLNESS FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES THROUGH EDUCATION AND PARTICIPATION IN GENERAL HEALTH, FITNESS AND EXERCISE, AS WELL AS OPPORTUNITIES FOR SPIRITUALLY-ENRICHING ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES
Guardian Martial Arts Studio LLC. does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to selection of personnel, volunteers and vendors, or provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, families, instructors, workers, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.
Copyright 2018. Guardian Martial Arts Studio. All Rights Reserved.