[pullquote_left] by Melody [/pullquote_left]

Not long ago, we asked our readers for recommendations on places to learn martial arts in the greater Grand Rapids area.  Here’s what we heard.  Readers cautioned that there is a big difference between a rec program and a serious studio.  It is good to gauge your interest level before selecting a program.  And if your excellent suggestion is missing, please leave us a comment so others can hear about it, too.

Jaime Johnston told us that her son goes to Paks Karate in Cutlerville. “Excellent program. I pay about $80.00 a month and $25.00 every 3 months for testing

Another reader, Jenny Burman suggested that people “… check with your local rec department…I just received the Zeeland book and their Tae Kwon Do class is $30 for residents/ $42 for non residents for a 6 week class, held weekly.”

If you’re not interested in a commitment, “Look into Young Champions,” suggests Laura Clifton.  “It’s $7 per class and you don’t have to sign a contract or pay if you miss.”

Betsyjo Ryskamp Kellum tells us that Mirandette’s Martial Arts Center in Kentwood has kid classes and that the rates vary depending on the child’s age. Call (616) 281-1121 for class times and prices. (Her husband teaches there.)

Standale Karate is amazing!” writes Kelly Vonk.  “Great prices, especially if you have more than one family member taking classes. One family member price is comparable to other classes, but you can’t beat their price if you have more than one person taking classes. And I would recommend Rick Heath and Jan Heath (the owners) to anyone. We’ve been there since our youngest was 3. He is now testing for his black belt in a couple of weeks!”

Taijiquan hosts Tai Chi classes. According to Ray these are, “An activity based class that helps with focus, balance, and flexibility.”  Starting at age six, “Tai Chi will help students in all aspects of their life and teaches them discipline and self defense.”

Apart from rec programs and studios, there is also the YMCA.  Becki Stoel Bowen tells us that “The YMCA offers classes. They will run for 7 weeks at a time and their prices are fairly reasonable. If you visit grymca.org, you can look by branch and they will list all available time slots and prices.”

I personally have been looking into lessons for my eight-year old son at Big Dog Taekwon-Do on the recommendation of a friend.  Now that soccer is done, we may be able to squeeze it in!

Do you or your children take Martial Arts lessons in West Michigan?  Where at?  Let us know your favorite studio or lesson location.


Updates from our readers:

By | 2017-05-12T14:44:23+00:00 November 13th, 2012|Categories: General|5 Comments

About the Author:

Melody V
INFJ. Mom of three. Idea chaser. People believer. Inspiration seeker. Together, we make this city amazing. Let's go!


  1. Courtney November 27, 2012 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    Hi there! my mom and I currently take taekwondo for an organization called Tae Park Taekwondo. You may have heard of them, they are the sponsors of the taekwondo tournament at the State Games of Michigan. You test every three months and there are two annual tournaments to partake in and rank up – November hosts the World Class Taekwondo Tournament. at the GRCC Fieldhouse, with participants from several states across the US coming here for the weekend to take part, and the Meijer State Games of Michigan, in June. We currently take classes at the Hahn-in Christian Reformed Church in Wyoming, class fee is 20 dollars a month. Junior Grandmaster Mark Good is the instructor, but there are other places around town to take lessons. A couple of the local YMCA’s also offer classes in this organization, as do some local elementary schools. http://www.taeparktaekwondo.com offers you all the information you need.

  2. Melissa November 13, 2012 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    At tonight’s class for Karate Kids at Flees there are 5 girls. They have a flexible schedule and encourage you to make two classes a week so I know there are some girls missing today who normally are here.

  3. Meg November 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    We love Miriandettes ! Our son goes there and we recommend it to any family out there. Rick is an amazing, highly trained Sensei and works so well with our 6 year old. Their moral & values are awesome too!

  4. Georgine November 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Hi and thanks. My daughter has expressed an interest in martial arts for a while now, but I didn’t know where to begin, go, etc. Any feedback regarding any of the above for a girl? for example, are there any girls in the classes and what’s the ratio boy to girl. If i know her, she’d prefer at least one other girl or more. The other thing I have come across is the type of martial art. is one better than the other? she wants “kung fu”, however, I don’t think she really knows the difference. any comments, feedback, advice?

  5. Melissa November 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    We actually were looking for a martial arts school this past spring. We “shopped” around quite a bit and then found Flees Martial Arts on your website.

    Mr. and Mrs. Flees run a fantastic program. I can’t say enough good things about them. I have seen such a change in my son’s confidence.

    What sold us on this program is the emphasis they put on life skills like self-control, responsibility, respect, goals etc. Every month there is a life skill they focus on. They also encourage the kids to complete a good deeds form that is then handed in for a strip to add to the belt.

    My son is becoming physically stronger but more importantly he is becoming a well rounded person.



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