Friday, February 18, we drove to Idaho Falls to see our grandson, Granite, qualify for his black belt. This was such an eye-opening experience and one we wouldn’t have missed. We had seen Granite and his brother Col at the ATA studio a year ago, but this experience filled us with such appreciation and gratitude for the program you run.
It was great to see the participants stretch and strain to attain their goals. What a visible picture of what America needs today for our youth. It was also wonderful to see/feel the respect and responsibility that these youth are being taught.
Words cannot express our thanks to those of you that give up your time to help all who walk through your doors.
Our family really enjoys being a part of the Idaho falls ATA martial arts. Our experience has left joy and confidence in our children. The lead instructor Mr. Schultz has a gift with children, instilling respect and excitement at the same time.
One of our recent experiences with our 7 year old son has shown us how much they are taking away from their time at Karate. After the kids had gone through the Karate Summer camp at ATA we ran into a situation with a stranger while playing at the park. Our son was playing at the bottom of a slide putting rubber pieces on it to slide down into, but a man was not too happy about this and tried to correct him verbally, when he did not respond to the stranger he proceeded to grab our son by the arm. He has been taught not to talk with strangers, but to come to his parents, yet he was unable to because he was backed into the tunnel slide. He released the man’s grip by using a move he had learned at camp and stayed in the slide until we noticed what was happening and could take care of it. This move was used as a tool to protect himself when he felt threatened.
As we went over the incident and talked over how we could have changed the situation and about what tools he could have used in this situation as well ( like yelling stranger, stranger!), but we also praised him for using some of the skills he was taught. Thank you ATA for giving our family confidence, awareness and the tools to protect ourselves.
We would like to express our gratitude and thanks to Idaho ATA Martial Arts. About a year ago we were struggling with our son, Gage Crouch. We didn’t know what to do with him at the time. Gage was a very troubled young man and would just constantly fight with us and would not listen to anything we said. His grades were failing in school and he did not care if he passed or failed. He did not want to do anything or listen to anyone.
Most of the time we could not be in the same room together because we just fought about everything. You could not even look at Gage without him saying something rude or mean to you. It was a constant fight with him every morning just to get him to go to school. At home, Gage would fight with his two brothers on a daily basis, especially his little brother Makai. He would do everything he could to make Makai cry and scream. We sometimes thought that Gage did this intentionally just so he could hear him cry.
We tried our hardest to get Gage to see a counselor but every time we tried Gage would just scream and get very angry to the point where we thought he might try to hurt himself. We had nowhere to turn and didn’t know how to help him because he would not listen to us or talk to us about his problems. We started looking at the possibility of sending Gage away to some type of disciplinary school or Military school. At that time we thought there was no other choice.
A family friend asked if we had ever thought about enrolling him in a Taekwondo class. We had never even considered it as an option but thought we would give it a shot as a last chance opportunity to help Gage. I went to the school and spoke to Mrs. Drefs. She explained to me what the program was about and how she thought that it could most definitely help Gage with the problems he was having. We were skeptical at first but thought it couldn’t hurt to try so we enrolled him in class.
We can honestly say that it was the best thing we could have ever done for him. Mr. Schultz has taken Gage and turned him to someone we would have never thought possible. Gage has become so much more respectful; he has learned discipline, self-respect and self-control. Gage is now well mannered and has matured is so many ways.
He is a great brother, friend and son. Gage has found a place where he really feels he belongs and thrives. Idaho ATA has become like a family not only to Gage but our entire family. They have done so much for all of us. They have helped make our family so much closer, stronger and more importantly a loving family. There will never be enough words to show our gratitude for Mr. Shultz, Mrs. Drefs and the entire Idaho ATA School. We have all developed many friendships and relationships not only with the staff but also the family and friends of many students. This truly has been life altering for our entire family.
We would like to say thank you very much for all you have done for our family, especially Gage. It is greatly appreciated and will never be forgotten.
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