Traditional Martial Arts Academy was founded with the mission to offer life-transforming experiences for its students and their families. In this spirit, we have always striven to insure access to classes for those who are dedicated to attend, even when financial hardship interfered with a student being able to afford full tuition.
For this reason, we have offered scholarships to students to prevent disruption in their training. Though these scholarships have received some support from fundraising events, the bulk of the scholarships have come from the Espy family. Running a martial arts school has been a passionate pursuit for the Espys. They have been motivated by a desire to serve others and be part of a martial arts community, which is why they have been happy to support the student scholarships.
That being said, we are very excited to announce that TMAA scholarships have a new source of funding. Joseph Thoennes and Audra Eng have generously set aside a monthly donation to support TMAA students with financial need!
Why? Their motivation is pretty straightforward. Mr. Thoennes tested for his first degree Black Belt with Sabumnim Espy back in 1995. They spent much of the early 90’s together training and learning together. Mr. Thoennes sees that experience as fundamentally transformational for him and that it had a profound positive impact on the rest of his life. He, along with his wife Audra, want to pay that forward by helping others have similar experiences who might otherwise not be able to afford it.
They have since move to Australia and are enjoying retirement, so we probably won’t see them around the Dojang anytime soon, but we are immensely grateful for their generosity and for their desire to help provide transformative experiences for children through martial arts training!