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Thursday, June 02, 2016

Athletes find balance between training and education

A pilot program administered by a South Florida non-profit foundation has teamed up with a Coconut Grove athletic organization and its athletes who are pursuing a professional future.

White Tiger and Dragon Martial Arts Academy in Coconut Grove is launching an individualized learning program with Fontan Relational Education from Learning One to One. This new approach creates a partnership that fosters an environment for gifted Martial Arts students to take control of their educational future while pursuing their athletic goals.  

Sensei Carol White, Owner of White Tiger and Dragon Martial Arts Academy says, 
“I love an adventure and a challenge because it is coupling academic with the physicality of the Martial Arts, mental, physical and the spiritual aspects.” 

Virginia Emmons McNaught, Chair of the Board for One to One Learning Foundation believes this is the future of education. “What Learning One to One is trying to do with individualized learning marries very well with the athletic world. When you are individualizing education, the learning process is very quick. We are able to condense academics in a very short period of time to allow enough time to train professionally for athletics.” 

 Fontan Relational Education or FRE is a proven pedagogy model. At its core, its goal is to foster unprecedented personalization and student autonomy. On average, reading comprehension of FRE students increases at 31% yearly while GPA increases 5% yearly. Most importantly, students are happier because they find meaning in what they learn. With FRE, each student is assessed as an individual and works hand in hand with educators to create his/her learning plan. 

The new approach to learning frees up time for student athletes to dedicate more hours to their training. Whether athletes desire a black belt, want to be the next national or international sport martial arts champion, develop a career as a professional mixed Martial Artist or be groomed to enter the film industry as a martial artist, Leaning One to One education process helps cut the length of the training (or education?) in half. Gifted athletes can design a learning schedule around sport training. FRE and its on-line app allow students to follow their lesson plans at anytime and anywhere. 

Sensei Carol says, “It is no ancient Chinese secret. Whoever is on the matt the longest and the most is going to be the most successful and the best. We’ve put out UFC fighters before; we’ve elite international champions before. We’re going to do it again. We’re going to do it faster and we’re going to do it better because of this program.” 

In support of the partnership, Karate legend, Grand Master, 10th degree black belt Larry Tatum hosted a Kempo Karate seminar in May and spoke about the importance of education when mastering Kempo Karate. “Kempo Karate helps you relate to the realities of life and then we you relate to those realities then you can understand what you are learning in school.” 

The White Tiger and Dragon Martial Arts Academy is one of the largest and best dojos for nearly two decades in South Florida. The dojo has been home to Carlos Saborio, 1st degree black belt and US Open Mixed Martial Arts Grand Champion. It has also been training ground for Miami native, Caitlin Dechelle- Actress, stuntwoman and World Champion Martial Artist. She has been seen in multiple TV shows and films such as Teen Wolf, How I Met Your Mother, Furious 7, Jackie Chan's Chinese Zodiac and her latest project stunt doubling Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman. 

White Tiger and Dragon Martial Arts Academy offers free classes for children on 
Saturdays from noon to 2pm. In the class, students receive top-notch physical  
conditioning, learn how to kick box, learn how to improve their jiu-Jitsu/grappling 
skills. If you need more information go to

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