8 years ago on this very day we opened our doors and taught our first class at ATA Martial Arts in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It was the culmination of a few months of planning and build-out but years of dreams for us. We left our job at our previous ATA school and hoped to open while it was one of the worst recessions in recent history. Businesses were closing left and right. Everyone thought we were crazy. Many doubted us. In our minds we knew exactly how it was going to go. We never had a second thought. We knew how to teach, we had the curriculum planned out, and the greatest martial arts organization in the world backing us up. We still remember the exact day we walked into the building. We said, “the counter is going to be right here” gesturing to an empty space. “We’ll knock this wall down here” pointing to an office wall. We could see it in our minds so clearly.
Thank you to every student we’ve had over the last 8 years. If we were able to alter your life in a positive way even in the slightest bit then we did our job. And we’re happy to keep doing it. We do not take it for granted at all that we have been able to do what we love every day, successfully, for the last 8 years. The school has only been able to thrive because of the energy, passion, and enthusiasm of every single student and their family that we’ve ever had. Thank you for being a part of it.
2017 is going to be awesome and you’re going to want to be around for the ride. This year at World Championships in June, Mrs. Jouan is going to be inducted as a Master Instructor, Master Jouan will be testing for his 7th Degree Black Belt, and ATA West Chester will have its first student testing for the rank of 4th Degree Black Belt, Mr. Dante Pesce. In July, we will be hosting our 3rd regional tournament at Neumann University. I’m sure there will be many other exciting surprises along the way.
It is with our deepest heartfelt gratitude that we say thank you so much for believing in us!