Six principles guide courses at American Masters Martial Arts. These principles—which include politeness, bravery, and respect—ensure that students come away not only with martial arts skills but also with a sense of character and integrity. Instructors specialize in seven martial arts styles, and while some courses are sports-oriented, others focus on self-defense. Whether learning hapkido, tai chi, tae kwon do, or personal safety techniques, students earn a well-rounded education that encompasses both physical and mental goals.
At age 11, Tony Genova faced an inescapable problem: bullies were making his life miserable. Looking for help, he found his way to martial-arts classes—and he was a natural. Only three years later, he was a black belt in karate. Now a fourth-degree black belt, he seeks to pass on the self-discipline and respect he learned through his classes at Texas Karate Center. He and his team of instructors teach kids and adults of all ages and abilities, including classes designed for kids with special needs.
What inspired you to start your own martial-arts school?
It has been a lifelong dream to teach at and own my own martial-arts school. Ever since high school, my focus has been to develop students into great people who are skilled in martial arts. When I saw people grow in confidence over weeks of training, I knew that the business of helping people was going to be my passion. When the opportunity presented itself to serve the city I grew up in, I was humbled to do so. My motivation is positively impacting the lives of students and their families.
What’s the vibe of your school like?
The vibe is a homegrown business. It’s a clean, straightforward presentation that is modest in its decoration. We keep our trophies in the corner of the room while we display our six principles—Be Polite, Be Patient, Be Alert, Be Brave, Do Your Best, Respect Yourself and Others—proudly over our mirrors.
Describe you average student.
Our average customers are people that have heard about the benefits of martial-arts training and want to see what it can do for them. They start out timid and apprehensive but, with consistent encouragement, they grow into more confident people that can stand in front of a group . . . and be themselves without being embarrassed.
What makes your business stand out from the competition?
Our school emphasizes the character development that other schools seem to lose sight of. We give our students the chance to grow in confidence and build themselves up to effectively defend themselves in a great atmosphere. We are dedicated to the goals of our students and encourage them to be the best version of themselves they can be.