I’m going to do something a little different with this next post. This was an article I wrote for the Wausau Daily Herald about the expansion of Halama’s Martial Arts in Wausau. The article got chopped down a little and is no longer available online, so here is the original. I am very interested in martial arts, and both Master Nathan Halama and Mr. Bryden do an amazing job instructing their students.
Halama’s Martial Arts, located at 267 Chellis Street in Wausau, recently expanded their business to include a variety of martial arts classes.
A fifth-degree black belt, Master Nathan Halama opened Halama’s Martial Arts in May of 2005. Halama’s originally offered an open taekwondo class five nights a week, teaching children and adults at the same time.
“I’d always wanted to open my own gym and teach taekwondo as a career,” Halama said. “I had a branch school for seven years before I came here. I was looking to run my own gym since before high school.”
One of the first changes Halama made back in September was the establishment of a children's taekwondo class, separate from the adults. While Halama himself teaches the adult class, the children are taught by Benjamin Bryden, a second-degree black belt.
According to Bryden, the decision to separate the kids and adults into two classes stemmed from comments they received.
“We got a lot of comments over the years that the adults didn’t really like that it took the kids longer to pick up on stuff, and the kids didn’t have as much fun with that many adults in class,” Bryden said. “Sometimes the kids’ parents didn’t want them in with that many adults in class; they didn’t know who they all were.”
Both Bryden and Halama run the new A.C.E. class. A.C.E., which stands for assess the situation, calculate a response and execute action, is a more reality-based self-defense class. It covers unarmed combat, knife fighting, knife defense and gun defense.
“It is a much more intensive program,” Halama said. “It is not for everybody. We decided to open it up to everybody, but they have to meet our criteria; we aren’t going to let just anybody into that class. They have to have decent motives. It has to be for self-defense and making themselves a better person.”