[pullquote_left] by Melody [/pullquote_left][clear]

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.

[line]

Updates from our readers: