I joined the Dubuque Karate Club in 1986 to learn self defense, gain more confidence, and build my self esteem. I became interested in karate after I saw my first Bruce Lee movie. My goal when I started was not to become a black belt, but as time went by, black belt became my goal. Through my training at the Dubuque Karate Club, I learned to reach my highest goals, not only in Tang Soo Do, but in life. The lessons I have learned at the Dubuque Karate Club have helped balance me in many ways, not just in karate, but in life itself. I have also learned the importance of keeping a positive attitude and outlook on life. I have developed more patience and it has helped me to be a better parent with our 8 year old son.
We enrolled our son in the Dubuque Karate Club when he was 6 years old. The instructors have helped him to open up more and gain more confidence and to not be so shy. He has learned patience and respect while having fun in his classes. And now the best part is we can work out together at home, and it's fun to be involved with Tang Soo Do and share something that we both enjoy. I hope my son will continue his training in Tang Soo Do as he gets older. I know that I will be continuing my training. My goal now is to earn my Masters rank in Tang Soo Do.
Pete Saeugling (3rd Degree Black Belt)
I joined my first karate class when I was eight years old, attending an outreach program put on by Dubuque Karate Club at Sinsinsawa Mound. I decided to join karate because it was something different from anything else I've ever done and I didn't know much about it. When the session at Sinsinawa ended, I decided to continue my lessons with cousins in Dubuque under Grandmaster Schmitt and Master Schmitt. At nine years old, I joined the adult class and I've been with Grandmaster Schmitt and the Dubuque Karate Club ever since. Easily the youngest and smallest, I was welcomed by my instructors and older classmates who helped me to become the best martial artist I could be. When I was about twelve years old, I was asked to join the Dubuque Karate Club Demonstration Team. I was excited and proud to have been chosen to be a part a part of the team that represented something that was quickly becoming such an important aspect of my life. We were able to share with others what we what we had learned and show them a small part of the amazing world of karate. Under Master Schmitt's guidance in the team, my attitude and skills not only as a martial artist, but as a person, grew and improved and helped me as I got older. And now, instructing the kid's classes, I am able to help kids grow as martial artists in the same way others have helped me. Teaching is always a rewarding experience, and hopefully I'm helping and encouraging them to keep going, just like my instructors did with me. Twenty years later, I am still an active member of the Dubuque Karate Club and can't imagine doing anything else. All of the people at the Dubuque Karate Club are a second family, and I know that if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have made it as far as I have. They are the main reason I stayed so long. I see good people come and go, but the friendships forged at the Dubuque Karate Club are strong and solid, as are my relationships with my instructors. We all help and push each other to become better. One of the main reasons I remained at this school with Grandmaster Schmitt is because he makes us work for every one of our belts, which makes it that much more satisfying when we finally achieve the next level. I have now earned my 3rd degree E Dan rank, because Grandmaster Schmitt would not have given it to me if I hadn't, and I am proud of that. Thousands of hours of training, years of sweat, hundreds of classes, countless bumps and bruises... earning a black belt makes all of that completely worthwhile.
Cassie Jackson (3rd Degree Black Belt)
Training at the Dubuque Karate Club is more than just punching and kicking, everybody gets something different out of the martial arts. Training has given me the focus and discipline to raise my fitness level, and was one of the tools I used in losing 150+ lbs. Before, I would struggle walking up the steps, now I'm training for and running road races, with my longest being a 12K. The Dubuque Karate Club allows you to train at your own ability and pace to meet your goals.
Standards at the Dubuque Karate Club are kept high, so after you've tested and receives a promotion in rank, you know you have earned it. The sense of accomplishment that you get after testing and advancing in rank gives you the confidence and determination to continue to the next rank and so on. In no time, you are addicted and that initial goal of Black Belt is not that far away and is getting closer after each rank.
Everybody joins the martial arts for different reasons. What will yours be?
Jay Sherman (1st Degree Black Belt)
The training at Dubuque Karate Club is second-to-none. Starting Tang Soo Do in 2001 was a new adventure for me, with many obstacles to overcome. The Dubuque Karate Club was there every step of the way, helping me to not just reach my goals, but to overcome and succeed them, going beyond what I thought I could accomplish. Because of this, I've gained discipline, confidence, and leadership skills that I use every day of my life. The Dubuque Karate Club wants each and every student to achieve their true potential in karate and in life, and that is clearly evident by the positive instruction around in the club and their professionalism. I am honored to be a part of this organization, and look forward to continuing on the path of black belt excellence.
Janell Cannavo (2nd Degree Black Belt)
Master Ron Schmitt was the Karate instructor at the Loras College All-Sports Camp this past summer (2012). Ron introduced the campers to the fundamentals of Karate while also teaching the Christian values and sportsmanship which are the foundation of the All-Sports Camp. Ron does an excellent job of teaching the skills involved with Karate. He is very knowledgeable, well-orgainized, and presents the skills in a manner that is a very motivating, positive learning experience for the campers. At all times Ron demonstrated an excellent working relationship with both the campers and the staff. I highly recommend Ron as a Karate instructor. Your children will not only develop Karate skills, but more importantly they will develop a positive character and citizenship attributes.
Dr. Robert Tucker (Loras College Athletic Director)
I walked through the doors of Dubuque Karate Club 17 years ago and never left. Over the years not only did I develop my physical skills in terms of fitness and self-defense, but more importantly I developed my leadership abilities and a higher level of self-confidence. These skills are priceless for kids in school, and will serve them well as they enter the work force later in life. One of the aspects of the martial arts i enjoy is learning and being a part of the culture of respect and humility that dates back thousands of years. During my time at the Dubuque Karate Club I've made many priceless memories and numerous life long friendships. The Dubuque Karate Club helped shape me into the person I am today and who I will be tomorrow.
Joel Cross (3rd Degree Black Belt)
The Dubuque Karate Club/ATKA is a 1st class martial arts organization that offers quality instruction based on over 47 years of experience, knowledge, and high standards. The expertise provided is some of the best in the martial arts industry today. The structure, discipline, and curriculum that the program, offers is genuinely for the students best interest. not for the purpose of producing mass numbers of black belts. Being a member of the Dubuque Karate Club/ATKA for the past 29 years, I have benefited from this top notch instruction to achieve the prestigious rank of 5th Dan Master. In addition to my martial art skills, I have gained tremendous insight on myself as a person and what I want out of life, along with the means to achieve it. I live a healthy lifestyle - mentally, physically, and spiritually - all aspects the i can attribute to my training at the Dubuque Karate Club/ATKA.