From Our Editors
For the instructors at Martial Arts Hero Factory, karate has always been a family affair. Master John McGonnigle Sr. earned his first black belt at age 16. His son and fellow instructor, John Jr., began to learn martial arts moves when he was two, imitating his dad while rolling around in his playpen. And Madison McGonnigle has gone from a student in the school's Little Ninjas program—geared toward 3–6-year-olds—all the way to becoming its teacher.
The McGonnigles put all of this expertise to use during their classes, in which they teach students of all ages the strikes and blocks of Shotokan karate, as well as the self-defense maneuvers of Krav Maga. All-in-all, they believe learning martial arts not only improves physical strength and the chances of defending yourself against dangerous wooden planks, but also character. Though they focus on rehearsing swift kicks and punches, each lesson also emphasizes values such as respect and teamwork.