Martial Arts Academy USA: Offers Training for Body and Mind

Associate Editor

FAMILY FUN: Gary Wilden, franchise owner of Martial Arts Academy USA, offers the entire family a holistic curriculum aimed at combining physical and mental training techniques. Six facilities are located throughout the Tulsa region.


Gary Wilden, franchise owner of Martial Arts Academy USA, has created a martial arts training facility unlike any other in the area, offering students a holistic curriculum combining both physical and mental training techniques. What really sets Wilden’s programs apart from imitators, however, is a dedication to family-friendly programs and age appropriate learning experiences.

“We’re family oriented. Big time,” Wilden says. “A family that kicks together, sticks together. It’s one of the few sports the parents can actually get on the floor and do with their child.”
Wilden personally oversees Martial Arts Academy USA’s Jenks and Broken Arrow facilities, two of six facilities in total. Every location has two main instructors, each having worked closely with Wilden for a minimum of two years. “We don’t have a high turnover rate on instructors like most schools,” Wilden explains.
Martial Arts Academy USA is also different from other schools in that they teach what Wilden calls a “life skills program.” As part of their training, students of all ages are required to write an essay based on a theme of the month, like responsibility.

Wilden’s academies offer programs that focus on self defense rather than competitive martial arts, with each program having a specifically designed curriculum to correlate with students’ ages.
For younger students, the ‘Lil Dragons’ program teaches three to five-year olds about child safety awareness, discipline and focus through a traditional Tae Kwon Do program, complete with the powerful punches and kicks that kids love to learn.

Wilden has also developed what he calls the “bully-buster program.” The program is specially designed to help teachers recognize bullies and deal with them on a personal basis. “Our schools are becoming very corrupt and the teacher has very little control of anything anymore,” Wilden explains. The “bully-buster” program information is available for free at Wilden’t Academy locations.

Adult programs focus more on street defense, from rape prevention to basic self defense, and aim to reduce the participant’s level of stress. “My goal with parents–and for the adults I train—is that we’re not getting any younger. So we remind them that if they just take 30 minutes out of their day, we’re going to give them probably a year longer to live because they’re taking time for themselves,” Wilden says.

To help get the whole family involved, however, Wilden’s Academy offers a family training program that helps get parents and kids out on the floor training. The program allows a family of four or more to train twice a week for under $200 a month, less than what many gym memberships would cost.

Plus, the small class size, anywhere from 10 to 30 students, ensures everyone gets personalized attention from one of up to four instructors who work with the family classes.“This is for anybody and everybody who wants to try our programs, but we really want to push the families to come together,” Wilden says.

The Academy’s facilities are open six days a week, and offer their various programs at various times throughout the evening to accommodate even the busiest of schedules. Personal fitness and self defense classes are also available during the day by appointment.

The 2,500 square-foot Jenks facility, 501 W. Main, opened in 1995 and features a main workout floor, a sitting area for parents and, perhaps most notably, a 24-hour surveillance system that monitors activities on the premises. All of the Martial Arts Academy USA facilities, in fact, have security systems that monitor students from the instant they arrive, a feature that further enhances the family-friendly atmosphere.

For more information on Martial Arts Academy USA, their various programs and schedules, visit their website at, or call

Updated 06-27-2006

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