By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: February 2010
Moo Do Academy of Karate is the fulfillment of a dream for owners Sean and Michele Steefel.
Sean and Michele Steefel of Broken Arrow have had a dream of opening their own martial arts academy for 12 years. The dream became reality in March of 2009, when they became co-owners and instructors at their Moo Do Academy of Karate in Broken Arrow.
When he was 12 years old and living in Connecticut, Sean began his lifelong involvement with the martial arts. He became an instructor in 1985, and has attained the ranking of fifth degree master in the Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan Association (American Brotherhood of the Empty Hand Defense). Sean met Michele at the academy in Connecticut where he was an instructor, when she was doing postgraduate work at Yale. Michele has attained the rating of first degree.
The Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan form of karate is taught throughout the United States and is a composite style influenced by the Northern and Southern Chinese arts, and the Okinawan discipline of karate. It has developed a comprehensive curriculum that is in harmony with the natural aging process.
As we age, we begin to develop certain bodily limitations, including a decrease in flexibility, muscle density, calcium, endurance, speed and strength. The natural changes in our bodies cause us to adjust training requirements for keeping fit both physically and mentally. The Steefels utilize a full range of techniques to enable persons of any age to enjoy and benefit – physically and mentally – from the karate experience.
Some of the basic components of the curriculum include meditation, stretching and conditioning, cardiovascular training, blocking, kicking, striking and self defense. Teaching techniques focus on the nature and structure of conflicts and how they can be resolved peacefully.
“We promote self discipline, confidence, endurance, respect, mental fitness, courage and honesty in our instruction,” says Sean. “We stress that students set goals and follow through with them.” Michele adds, “Sean and I both promote continual positive reinforcement. We are sticklers about the basic fundamentals of the art and the quality of the techniques we teach.” Students are challenged to learn the history of the tradition, its terminology, techniques and philosophies as they progress from level to level. Progress, however, is not automatic. One must be invited to test when the instructor believes that he or she is ready for a higher degree. At Moo Do Academy, students quickly realize that they are now “family.”
Moo Do Academy is an official certified studio of an association that promotes unity, goodwill, fellowship and brotherhood among all associate organizations. Michele says that a lot is expected of their young students. They must show integrity, honesty, respect to parents and other adults, and they must stay vigilant in doing their schoolwork. “Slacking off in school is not showing the traits of a martial artist,” adds Michele. Sean says that he has actually had parents tell him that their child’s grades improved after enrolling in the program at Moo Do Academy.
You’re always welcome to come in and observe a class in session, whether for a child, your entire family, or you individually. You’ll be surprised at the benefits and the low enrollment rates at Moo Do. Classes are held from 3:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. When you call or come by for more information, be sure to ask about the new Lil’ Dragon classes for ages three through six.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.