The R.T. Berry School has become known as a leader in Martial Arts in the Lake Norman area. Not because they are winning physical fights, but because the kids there are learning to win the fight in themselves. The Martial Arts, until recently, are inherently good at teaching the students about themselves, and about what was right and wrong. This School in Mooresville has moved those side effects of martial arts to the forefront of their training and programs. If you speak with a family from the R.T. Berry School about what they enjoy about the school you are going to hear something deeper than kicking and punching. “Training and teaching discipline, honor, and respect outweigh the physical traits he has learned,” said the Baker family of their newest black belt member.
The School’s focus on character development is not just a marketing ploy. It is what the founder of the School believes very deeply. “Martial Training is a tool, a tool to be used to better the person. Be it for combat, or day to day life, the students must train on what they are setting out to do to ensure the greatest opportunity for success. If you have a child that is being pushed around, or made fun of regularly, many times the parents say don’t worry about what others think. But with no tool to help the kid ‘not worry about it’ they are setting themselves up for failure. On the other hand, if we practice and train in techniques that allow them to deal with some of these rougher social issues, then we have given them an opportunity to be successful,” said Berry, the School’s founder.
The programs at the R.T. Berry School have grown over the last nine years into a very strong social and character development program. Master Berry has a focus on each student individual goals, and what each student needs to grow. Then, through a group class, each of these smaller traits can be focused on and developed. Or as Master Berry says, “then we can ‘train’ it.”
At the R.T. Berry School, students under a certain age earn different levels of Black Belt. Go Ma, or Child Black Belt is reserved for students under 13. So Yun, or Junior Black Belt is for students between 13 and 17 years. And Adult Degrees are reserved for Students ages 17 and up. “This allows the students at an early age to continue to progress through their goals and hold the standards of the Martial Arts high. Our students here are progressing through at the rate that they achieve. Nothing here is given, but rather everything earned. Most kids that begin training here at the age of 24 months to 5 years old would come out as an Adult 2nd degree Black Belt when they were 18 or so. This is as it should be; otherwise you would have a 19 year old ‘master’. Our School’s focus is not on belts, but on development. We have created a community through the families that creates an environment for our Students to excel not just in the Arts, but life! That is what is most important to me.” Berry said.
The R.T. Berry School is located in the back of Brawley Commons on the corner of Williamson Rd. and Brawley School Rd. You can read more about their Character Development programs at www.rtberry.com ,