BY MAKENZIE PLUSNICK
MORE THAN PUNCHING AND KICKING Legendary Black Belt Academy teaches three core life skills that improve students’ quality of life. • Coordination and motor skills help improve a child’s general health and sports performance, develop the cardiovascular system and build muscular strength. • Self-esteem and condence-building are accomplished through consistent, positive verbal reinforcement. • Respect for instructors, each other and the self is reinforced in each class.
“For the rst time, really, in history, martial artistswho are doing online classes have all been invited into these people’s homes, and that’smuch more personal.”
SOURCE: LEGENDARY BLACK BELT ACADEMY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Whitt Melton, co-owner of Legendary Black Belt Academy
Students now take lessons via Zoom. (Photos courtesy Legendary Black Belt Academy)
Legendary Black Belt Academy Richardson martial arts business teaches life skills amid pandemic S tay-at-home orders forced Legendary Black Belt Acad- emy to close in mid-March.
Brothers Whitt and Wes Melton own the martial arts business.
“Martial arts is a personal sport in a group setting,” he said. “It’s not like baseball or soccer, where you are limited in the scope of what you can perform.” The studio normally teaches between 100-150 students. The brothers started training in martial arts when they were 6 years old. After they earned their black belts, their father helped them open the rst Legendary Black Belt Acad- emy in Garland. The studio moved to Richardson in 2006. What sets the studio apart is its focus on instilling core life skills, such as condence, discipline, respect, focus, self-control, persever- ance and goal-setting, Whitt said. “We teach way more than
punching and kicking,” he said. “We focus on teaching kids the skills they need to be successful in life.” The online classes have been pop- ular with existing students and have incentivized new students to join the academy, Whitt said. They will con- tinue once in-person classes resume, thoughWhitt said he is unsure what the programwill look like. “To be successful in our business, we have to be willing to do what it takes to not only give value to our members but to keep our community safe,” he said. Summer camps opened to a lim- ited number of students May 18. The business hopes to resume evening martial arts classes on a limited basis June 1.
But the brothers behind the martial arts business found a way to bring the studio to students. “For the rst time, really, in history, martial artists who are doing online classes have all been invited into these people’s homes, and that’s much more personal,” co-owner Whitt Melton said. Whitt and his brother, Wes, who also owns Legendary Youth Sports, said they made the swift decision to pivot to online lessons shortly after closing their studio. Martial arts studios are uniquely equipped for this type of transition, Whitt said.
Instructor Johnny Warren teaches an online martial arts class.
Legendary Black Belt Academy 1980 Nantucket Drive, Ste. 108, Richardson 469-734-6216 wwwlegendaryblackbeltacademy.com
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RICHARDSON EDITION • MAY 2020
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