I have studied with Master Laura at Central Ohio Martial Arts for about 10 years. I have learned that achieving a 3rd Dan black belt is a great personal achievement, but it is not a solo achievement, none of us get there without a great master and the constant input by all the students.
The techniques can be subtle and complicated, but with the help we provide to each other success is possible even for a 70 year old man. She is a great teacher for children and has an endless reserve of patience. One of the most dedicated martial arts expert I have ever known focused on teaching proper technique, discipline and building student confidence.Bernard Rathmell
I appreciate the family-friendly classes where I can get my exercise alongside my kids, rather than having to figure out childcare. I appreciate being accepted and welcomed despite bad knees and starting off quite out of shape. I appreciate the community that roots for my success and helps me achieve it. I appreciate having my sons train with women, especially Master Laura, that they see are strong and tough.Ingrid Biery
We stopped at the school originally partially based upon a blog she had written about why she takes the time to travel to Korea annually and belongs to specific organizations. That article alone (A Message from Master Laura, from 2012) spoke volumes to us about her character and how she is thoughtful in her choices. It also demonstrated that she not only thinks of herself but of her students. The family rate is another thing that made us want to stop by the school. We had been researching schools and we had not found one that made it so all three of us could afford to attend. Of course we were interested in learning more about the martial arts taught at the school in general.
When we first met Master Laura she spent a long time talking to us. We had stopped into the store to get more information and she happened to be working. She showed us the school. It felt very comfortable. We also appreciated that she has a cool room for kids to hang out if they are not in a class that their parents are participating. In the conversation with her and since we could tell she works to build community at the school by how her students interact in class, outside of class, and through special events at the school. She helped us decide on which martial art we wanted to start with at the school As a result we walked out ready for our free class. We definitely appreciate her teaching philosophy/style and could see the respect she has for her students from that brief encounter.
After attending our free class we were excited. Everyone was quite welcoming, willing to answer any questions, and never made anyone feel bad for needing extra help. We could tell that the people there do embrace the idea that we are all there to learn and improve. Also during that first class and in hearing stories and meeting people we were impressed by the number of students that have studied with her for more than a few years. It is neat to see at the school how many families train there together. Finally we were definitely intrigued by how many students take more than one martial art at the school. We have since started more as a family again thanks to the family rate.
Since attending for a few months we can say that we can walk out of any class and feel better than we went in because the classes are stimulating and fun. Her love of teaching and working with students of all levels is evident by how many classes she teaches. We have never been at a school where we would get to see the Master demonstrate what we are learning let alone be taught by them. It is quite inspiring to watch her demonstrate something and then teach it. We are part of a group that happened to start within a month of each other. She would get excited to have a class of primarily all white belts in Haidong Gumdo. That would make everyone smile and feel appreciated. We have never been "just a white or yellow or whatever belt" at the school which unfortunately had been our experience years prior elsewhere. As we have gotten to know Master Laura we have really appreciated the depth of knowledge she has in the martial arts in addition to the history, language, and culture of Korea.
The time we spend at the school as a family is invaluable. We all have seen individual benefits. Since attending a few short months our preteen daughter has shown an increase in her confidence and her body. Within 2 months of attending the school our daughters' teachers were complimenting her about how much her focus has improved at school. My husband who has ADD and myself have also seen improvements in our focus outside of class. We all enjoy it so much that we look forward to attending and how much stress it relieves.
Not only is Master Laura an amazing and patient instructor but she is an incredibly talented martial artist that we are fortunate enough to learn from.Sl K
I came to COMA several years ago after training for several years at another facility. I had earned a Black Belt at the other training facility, but learned after spending literally thousands of dollars at it that my "Black Belt" was not actually endorsed by the Kukkiwon, or World Taekwondo Association. In fact, my instructors were not endorsed either, despite their claims of being Fifth and Sixth degree Black Belts.
I came to COMA in order to earn a legitimate Black Belt. Master Laura was extremely patient in correcting many of the incorrect things I had learned at the previous facility and met me at the level I was at. I would highly recommend her and would strongly recommend that anyone seeking training for themselves or their family check to be sure that the place they are training is actually endorsed by the Kukkiwon.Kathy Burton
I came to Central Ohio Martial Arts in 2010 as a 1st Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. I had trained at another school for approximately 6-7 years. I wasn't feeling that my training was progressing, so I knew it was time for a change. I was told about Master Laura and Central Ohio Martial Arts by some other students at my former school, and I immediately knew a move was going to be the right thing to do. When I contacted Master Laura, she wanted me to come in and tell her a bit about myself. I knew that same day that this is where I wanted to continue my training and that this is where I belonged.
At my first class, I was welcomed by Master Laura and her students. It meant a lot coming in as a new student that they did that because it's always hard to start over at a new place not knowing anyone. I realized quickly that, although I had my rank, there was quite a bit that I needed to learn to catch up with these students. Everyone was extremely helpful and patient with me. They understood that not every school teaches the same curriculum and not every school follows the curriculum and qualifications as are requested by the World Tae Kwon Do headquarters in South Korea. Needless to say, I caught up and I have been here ever since.
Master Laura has instructors to help out during classes, but it is a rarity that she is not right there in class making sure everyone is learning everything the way we should. Master Laura does not ask her students to do anything that she would not do herself. She is extremely careful with the younger students, but also builds them up in order to instill self-confidence. The only time she is not in class is if she is out of town. And, when she's out of town, she's not on vacation; she's teaching other Masters, as well as their students. Master Laura has provided us with opportunities to compete, both in the United States and in South Korea. The trip to South Korea was special. She exposed us to so many things, and we were able to perform Tae Kwon Do among the best of the best. Competition is not a requirement. It is an opportunity.
This school has such a variety of classes. I currently train in Tae Kwon Do (where I am now getting ready to test for my 3rd Degree Black Belt in November), as well as assist in teaching classes; Gongkwon Yusul (I'm currently a blue belt); and Korean Archery. My youngest son, who is 11, also trains in Gongkwon Yusul. Master Laura gets certification for her students through the United States, as well as through South Korea. She is well-respected in all the martial arts that she practices.
I should mention that I am 47 years old, so age is not a factor here. My time here at Central Ohio Martial Arts has been nothing but positive. I have been challenged. I've developed skills that I never thought in a million years I would have EVER been able to do. I'll be training here until my body tells me otherwise!Mary Pennucci
Our son has been with Master Laura at COMA since he was 5 years old - a total of 7 years. He is now a black belt and still going strong! We were impressed from the start with Master Laura's quiet authority; her ability to redirect kids in an affirming and positive way; her patience; her obvious skill and expertise; and how she teaches complex and intricate moves in a way that the kids really connect with. Our son loves his Tae Kwando class. We also appreciate the flexibility of the classes; that we can pay month to month, so if other sports or family activities need to take priority for a month (especially over the summer) we can make the Tae Kwando classes fit around that. We wholeheartedly recommend COMA for martial arts classes, for teaching kids skills and discipline/perseverance that transfers to all areas of life.Our son has learned self-control, humility, goal setting,and inner confidence. There is a great sense of community between Master Laura and the other black belts/instructors. Our son is encouraged to help younger participants with their moves and forms, which helps build leadership and communication skills. We could go on and on about the merits of coming under the tutelage of Master Laura!Suzann Mark
After hearing good things about COMA from other parents at my daughter's school, we talked her into trying it. As a "Tom Boy," we couldn't pique her interest in dance or gymnastics, nor did soccer or baseball hold any interest. She loves it. I have found the instructors to be very patient and friendly, often going beyond to help draw her out and get her on track with the instruction. We couldn't be more pleased.Tawna Jensen
As I was approaching my 30th birthday, I was looking for an activity to boost my strength and confidence while increasing my fitness. Tae Kwon Do with Master Laura at Central Ohio Martial Arts provided that and so much more. COMA is a friendly and diverse community of different ages and types of people. I felt so comfortable there and thankful for the breadth of teaching provided by not only Master Laura, but also the practicing black belt members of the school. Master Laura’s technique is unmatched and her instruction is precise and effective with students of all ages. I did grow stronger and more confident through practicing Tae Kwon Do. Also, I gained balance, mental focus, an understanding of the Korean history and culture of the art, and an awareness of my entire body and its capabilities that I had never had before.Arin Blair, Urban Planner
My family and I really enjoyed our time at Central Ohio Martial Arts. I'm a mother of 4 and my husband and I practiced gongkwon at C.O.M.A, the environment was family friendly which allowed us to practice with our children. This is a great place to practice martial arts if your a beginner or if your a skilled fighter looking to brush up your techniques. Master Laura is amazing, she has patience with the beginners and she instills formal training and techniques that you would find in a dojo over seas. Her experience and wealth of knowledge is priceless.The McKnight family
Master Laura and Central Ohio Martial Arts provide an instructional environment that allowed me to grow personally while working at my own speed in getting my black belt. The lessons I learned at COMA went beyond forms. I learned the importance of of being a responsible person. As a kid there are a lot of things to distract you from the discipline it takes to become a black belt but Master Laura always kept me engaged and working toward that goal.
COMA doesn't compete for your time. COMA complements your interests and activities.Samuel Myers
Central Ohio Martial Arts is an amazing facility! Master Laura is an excellent instructor for both my husband and young children. Her firm, but fun instruction teaches all students discipline and respect along with protection and safety. Highly recommend Master Laura and COMA!!!Carol Watts
We've had a wonderful experience with Master Laura, her staff, and Central Ohio Martial Arts. Our son achieved his black belt certification through Master Laura's professional, patient, consistent, disciplined, and kind instruction. The location is great, the adjacent store stocks everything, and the fees are very reasonable. Students are tested when they are ready, the testing is thorough, and the awards are special. We love it there.Laura Zimmerman
Central Ohio Martial Arts is a special studio. The people who make up this place are a family who want to help each other improve. In over 10 years attending there, I have always experienced an atmosphere of support in every new thing I tried, even when I felt silly doing it at first. Master Laura is not only a master of martial arts, she is also a master at both challenging and encouraging her students and helping them to do things they never imagined they could do. I have learned valuable self defense and I have gained friends who are always friends to me no matter how long I am away.Atalie Bale
Central Ohio Martial Arts Studio is a great place to either learn martial arts skills together with your family, or as an individual. We first came to visit, based on the recommendation of a friend and, from our first visit, we were made to feel a part of the "family". I say that intentionally, as we found out how much Master Laura and many of the then Tai Kwon Do students cared, as they were a big support to our family when we went through a very personal tragedy.
Master Laura has a way with kids. She is very gentle with their spirits, while simultaneously training them in a disciplined manner, with admirable character traits that any parent would wish for their children. Our children learned some very valuable self defense skills, and 2 of them took their training through their 2nd Dan Black Belt. Another took it through their 1st Dan Black Belt, and my wife and I took the training as well. Though my wife stopped short of a Black Belt, we certainly enjoyed interacting with others in the studio, and always appreciated the skills and character that we all developed, while participating. I highly recommend this studio, as it has a number of very well qualified instructors, and teaches a number of different Martial Art forms. It is always wise to have some of these skills available should you find a need for them in the future. In the meantime, it is also great exercise, good fun, and the stretching and balance exercises are excellent for your physical health. However, the personal integrity, communication skills, and natural talent of Master Laura is what holds it all together. Try it out! You'll not be sorry!Rick Bale