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Martial arts are for the whole family


Last updated 9/27/2007 at Noon

The Kramer ATA Black Belt Academy is a personalized, family-owned business. Mother and son proprietors Tammy and Andy Kramer, both fourth degree black belt recipients, offer more than just martial arts techniques – they offer a sound philosophy about life.

This academy holds true to its mission statement: “Kramer’s ATA Black Belt Academy brings together individuals who seek personal growth through physical and mental development with a focus on self-confidence, respect and integrity, preparing them for any situation in life.”

To perpetuate this mission statement, it focuses on the nine different life skills: goals, integrity, self-control, honor, courtesy, loyalty, perseverance, respect and attitude. “Every month we focus on something different,” shared Kramer. “This month we are focusing on honor.”

Kramer and his mother began training in Taekwondo in 1996. From there, his brothers took lessons, and eventually, the whole family on his mother’s side was trained in the discipline. “There were 23 of us at one time who were doing Taekwondo,” said Kramer. “My grandmother who is 75 years old still does it with us and she is a world champion.” Grandma Zingg got her black belt when she was 72 years old.

Hanging on the wall of the studio is a family Taekwondo portrait taken at a Las Vegas tournament in 1999, where 23 members of Kramer’s family were competing.

This distinctive academy offers a variety of martial arts classes for children and adults. Kramer believes that martial arts are equally important for both children and adults.

For children, promoting self-defense and awareness of their surroundings is so very important. “The other is the discipline aspect of standing still, listening, paying attention when someone is talking, looking people in the eye and standing tall and confident,” said Kramer.

The aerobic fitness in martial arts is beneficial for adults. The adults enjoy the martial fitness type of program coupled with the nine different life skills, shared Kramer. Focusing on goals is instrumental in their teachings, as well.

For adults who think they are not strong enough, lack coordination or have physical challenges such as lower back pain, Kramer says it should not be a deterrent to martial arts. “Everybody starts at their own starting point and we work with each person’s ability,” he said. There are no set physical standards at the academy, but rather, an emphasis on personal growth. Likewise, if a student suffers from lower back or shoulder problems, the program will be tailored to their needs.

Another unique class the Kramer family offers is a Fitness Self-Defense class for adults. “We do a lot of cardio work and a lot of actual self-defense, as well.” The premise of this course is to empower students with techniques to help ward off a perpetrator.

The five instructors at Kramer ATA Black Belt Academy are supportive and caring. “When I’m out on the floor I’m energetic – it’s gotta be loud,” said Kramer, grinning.

Following a lesson, Kramer wants his students to walk away with a true sense of confidence and accomplishment. “My favorite part of this job is seeing the growth in my students,” commented Kramer.

For more information on Kramer ATA Black Belt Academy please call (760) 630-7078 or log on to


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