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Juko-Ryu Toide & Martial Arts Center Offers Valuable Self-Defense Classes

Photographer / Elizabeth Hubbard

Juko-Ryo ToideMatthew S. Smith, owner of Juko-Ryu Toide & Martial Arts Center in Warsaw, thoroughly enjoys teaching people how to protect themselves.

“My wife Karissa and I are the owners and headmasters of Juko-Ryu Toide & Martial Arts Center,” Smith says. “We opened in April of 2018. We get people excited about martial arts and how to protect themselves.”

Smith’s long-time enthusiasm for martial arts is shared by his students.

“I have been a student of the martial arts since I was seven years old,” Smith says. “I started with self-defense basics, and later went into Tae Kwon Do. I then went into Wing Chun about seven years ago. I was introduced to Juko-Kai International, and had the privilege of going to a clinic held in the South Bend area. After that first class I was hooked. I remember thinking, ‘This is the real deal.’”

Smith has continued his study of Juko-Kai ever since.

“Once I met my wife I convinced her that she should also study and train, since I couldn’t always be there to help protect her,” Smith says. “She too has been studying and training. We are both personal students of Juko-Kai International’s founder and headmaster Dai Soke Rod Sacharnoski.”

Before starting the dojo business, Smith worked as a professional ballroom, Latin and swing dance instructor.

“I also co-owned a couple of dance studios,” Smith says. “I do still teach dance to those who like to learn. I also worked at different factory jobs here and there.”

Smith notes that new students at his facility can expect to learn exactly what it takes to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“We are all about teaching how to protect yourself in real-world situations – none of the fantasy and play,” Smith says. “You need to know you will make it home to your family, and that the techniques you are learning will actually work in full-on, hand-to-hand combat situations.”

The learning environment at the facility is very welcoming.

Juko-Ryo Toide“We take everyone through the basics, and build them up in an easy-to-understand and comfortable-to-learn environment,” Smith says. “We make sure that everyone fully understands what it is we are teaching them. Last but not least, the new student can expect to have a lot of fun, get a great full-body workout, and meet others who have like-minded goals and who will be excited to train and grow along with them.”

The facility has classes for a range of abilities and ages, and youth classes are available. The center also offers private individual and group sessions, including team-building self-defense courses.

Smith has been inspired by his students.

“We could not ask for better students,” he says. “They are all very supportive and work hard to reach their goals. We often quote our motto, ‘Let’s Live Empowered,’ and the students here definitely do just that by drawing together for growth, and having a passion to spread the gift of self-protection to the rest of the community around them.”

Juko-Ryu Toide & Martial Arts Center is located at 704 South Buffalo Street in Warsaw. Call 260-415-6803 and visit letsliveempowered.com for more info.

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