“My husband, my son and I all have the privilege of training at this joyful, life-altering dojo. Terrific martial arts training, but even more importantly, we’re learning life skills: how to be present, how to stay calm in the face of adversity, and how to carry empathy and kindness into the world. I cannot recommend Life Ki-do highly enough.” – Karen M
“Life Ki-do has been such a positive influence on my whole family. My husband and I were VERY reluctant to enter the world of martial arts; too aggressive, too competitive. We decided to try Life Ki-do in hopes that he might gain some focus, respect for others, and self discipline. What we got was SO much more. Life Ki-do teaches children (and parents) how to just be the best person THEY can possibly be, in a violent free space. The competition is within themselves. As a parent, I’ve watched him grow into a strong, confident, focused boy who can communicate (better than me at times) with his words. Not only that, but he has gained so much pride. I am now CERTAIN that with Life Ki-do in his pocket, he will always make thoughtful and meaningful choices in life, love, and friendships.” – Amy.
“We love Sensei Doug!! He’s such an extraordinary leader and role model, with the most amazing energy. It’s an ongoing joy to see Phoenix evolving a little bit each time with these classes…Thank you!” – Emma.
“He does love going to class, as does his dad. Thank you for providing such a wonderful opportunity for kids and parents to learn together. I’m a pediatrician right down the road and I have recommended Life Ki-do to many families and keep the book in our lending library. ” -Suzanne V.B.
“You have such a depth of empathy and understanding for ‘your people. Here you were – friends, people who accept and support Ani and one another – always striving for fullness and expressing your joy for each person’s journey. Thank you Jonathan, Doug, Tommy, Gene, Jake, and Bruno, for providing a foundation for our daughter for life. We are thankful for each of you and for every person you bring on board – Jeff, Deven and Sarah, too!!!!!!” – Marianne and Charles V
“”Today I was reminded how lucky Emily is study under Sensei Jonathan because I was in the dojo. What a great teacher! I found his directions to the students clearly useful in a concise way that was never harsh or stern or impatient or ego driven. On the drive home when I asked Emily about Sensei’s communication she emphatically agreed. “His words are so useful!”
Mark & I are seeing growth in Emily which we in part credit Life Ki-do.” – Katherine V.
“I am so grateful for Life Ki-do. I have seen a HUGE positive difference in Ben. Not only did he get better, but he was able to connect the dots between his effort and his success. Thank you a million times over!!!” – Kristen B.
“I have lived all over the US and overseas and I have never found a more unique mix of focused instruction and techniques combined with appreciation for internal awareness and encouraged honest communication. What a dynamic blend! There is an openness and enthusiasm the Senseis, instructors, and other students have and it is infectious. No matter how I feel when I walk into the dojo, I always leave feeling more grounded, strong, and energized. I am impressed with the sense of community, spirit and energy that is present at Life Kido. It is a rare treasure and I am grateful that both my kids and I can practice and participate in this community.” – Krista (parent of two students but also a student herself!)
“I just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the (birthday) party. It was a very memorable experience for everyone, and Oliver really had a great time. When we were at Austin’s Pizza, he told his friends “this is the best day of my life!” You are one of the best teachers I have ever seen with children.
“I trust that you see my family’s progress. Both my kids show growing focus, self confidence and conscious concern for others. You and your staff have played an important role in this evolution. Thanks for bringing this program to your growing community” – M. J.
“Wow! This is certainly a one of a kind program! I am amazed; such a high level of mindfulness practice, emotional awareness and physical development all rolled into one. Sensei Jonathan and Sensei Doug are fantastic! The staff is awesome! You are doing the world a great service!” -M. Johnson
“Thank you all for the recent where bullying was addressed. The following day my daughter was at school and in a group of her classmates when they began speaking in a disparaging way of a fellow classmate. Recalling her Life Ki-do training, she stood up and announced (in a very caring manner) that she was going to leave because it was not right to be speaking of someone behind their back like that. My daughter has an acute understanding and empathy for others and we believe it is in no small part to the lessons that all of you so effectively convey each week. Thank you all again for your caring approach with children and to the overwhelmingly positive messages that inevitably lead to the betterment of humanity.” -C.V.
“I can’t emphasize enough how much I admire and respect what your instructors have done for Jase. He has grown from an overly cautious, quiet boy to one of confidence and internal strength.” -James Bennett, Jr.
“I have been truly impressed by Life Ki-do – I think the program is by far one of the best I have ever seen – teaching life skills that it took me far into my adulthood to learn. I think y’all are providing a great gift to these kids.” – Anonymous parent
“(My daughter) has found a home here where she can bring her troubles and share her joy with your amazing Senseis. This is an environment full of respect. What a great experience we have had here – thank you!” -Anne W.
“This is my family’s 3rd year at Life Ki-do and I cannot say enough about it. The calm and wisdom you use in dealing with our children is awe-inspiring! It is a wonderful philosophy you teachl. I have never met a parent who was not thrilled with their child’s experience at Life Ki-do.” -Leslie C.
“My son has been taking classes with Sensei Jonathan for about a year and a half now and his attitude and outlook on life have changed so much for the better. Life Ki-do is so much more than martial arts – it is very positive lessons in life. My son has struggled with issues like discipline & personal space. A teacher recommended I look into Life Ki-do and it’s probably the best thing we have done for my son. He has grown as an individual and learned to be more accepting and tolerant of his peers.” -Marisa B.
“Your school has got to be my favorite part about Austin. Each time I watch a class I am grateful that you are a part of our life here. You take the time to understand my daughter, and you support who she is, where she is. Not only that, you do this while helping her to understand herself and the people around her. And, you are teaching her to communicate through it all. The modeling you do, the way you relate to your students, and the practice you give them trying out words and moves is so wonderful to see. Doing any ONE of these with the care, planning, and sensitivity you do is no easy task. That you do them all, and so well, is astounding. Read the rest of this letter!
“The Life Ki-do program is an ideal extra-curricular enrichment choice for parents looking to grow the ‘whole’ child. Patient, compassionate, stimulating instruction & availability of skill-level based learning make this place an amazing value and natural fit for kiddos!” -Danielle R. Becker
“Our son started at Life Ki-do when he was in Junior High. He was a shy, bullied boy and thanks to your staff he has become a strong, calm, centered, confident man. I fully believe in the trans-formative powers of your program and recommend it to everyone. You reach down into the heart and soul of the student and through hard work and dedication they become better individuals from the inside out.” –Robin S.
“Three weeks ago I signed up my third child at Life Ki-do. This is the best gift I have ever given to my kids. Their stamina and strength is amazing. Their self confidence has sky-rocketed. Never have we been in a sport, any sport that has given them such accomplishment. The fact that the kids compete against themselves and not a team assures that there is never a sense of failure. My seventh grader is highly competitive and plays a multitude of team sports, yet, this has become his absolute favorite. After just a few classes, his endurance has drastically increased. Thank you for inspiring the kids to be successful in their goals and providing fitness in a fun and positive way.” – Chrysa K.
“Life Ki-do has been a wonderful experience for my family. My boys have learned important skills in awareness and they have also learned to focus and listen well, which has positively enhanced their time in school. Most of all, they are learning so much while having FUN! My four year old asks me every day: “How many more days until my karate class?” He loves the instructors and his confidence has really grown. I can’t thank-you enough for the positive influence. I am convinced that the life skills they are learning will serve them very well throughout their lives.” -Margot S.
“Every child can benefit from learning self-awareness, focus, confidence, and how to get through sticky situations like bullying or a conflict with a friend. I love the gentleness and respect with which all the Senseis/Sempais treat the children. They are very good role models and friends for their students. We are so happy to be a part of Life Ki-do training!” -Tiffany P.
“After we signed up, my son started asking me every day, “Is this my karate day?!” As he has continued in class, his self-confidence has improved dramatically and his enthusiasm for karate has not waned. I believe that the reason he has such enthusiasm is more than just the art of karate; I believe it is your specific program. You and your staff are just exceptional in dealing with children. I have been thrilled with every single staff member that my son has worked with. So, one thousand thank-yous to you and your group. We could not have asked for more.” – Melinda Y.
“You have no doubt been told on many occasions what a special program you have put together, but something like that is always worth saying again. More important than the program, however, is the team you have assembled. The soul of a program is the extension of the people who plan and execute it. And you are all very special people. When we enrolled our son in your program we hoped it would help him channel and manage his boundless energy, to be more thoughtful, less physically reactive. Not only have our hopes been fulfilled, but for good measure, you have put him on the path to a true appreciation for intrinsic self discipline. No one in Austin deserves from us higher praise or greater thanks than the Senseis at Life Ki-do. Thank you!!” – Jim & Brigitte F.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the direction of this program and the effect that it has had on my 8-year-old over the last 3 years. The directors/Senseis have created a positive learning environment in which their students seem to continually excel in Martial Arts skills. They have had a tremendous influence on my son as well with regard to developing many psychological skills such as: focus, relaxation, stress and pain management, to name only a few. The Senseis teach respect as well for their students and everyone involved. The integrity of this program and the integrity of its directors is beyond reproach. I highly recommend them to you.” – Sandy Nielson-Bell, 1972 Olympian Gold Swimmer
“The Life Ki-do training our son receives not only has a huge impact on our son’s focus and confidence, but it also has significant positive impact on our family as a whole. As long time educators, we appreciate the values, quality and sincerity of the Life Ki-do staff.” – Karen Aidman (Assistant Principal, O. Henry Middle School) & Barry Aidman (Former Principal, Casis Elementary School)
“As the principal of a school with over 800 students, I have seen a significant, positive improvement in students’ confidence and ability to manage social situations using Life Ki-Do’s strategies. Our students are able to independently navigate issues between themselves and to support others with the strategies. Life Ki-Do is based on universal truths, and is presented with concrete, kid-friendly language.” – Patty Martin, Principal at Casis Elementary
“I have had the privilege of working with Jonathan Hewitt and the Life Ki-do school. As both an administrator and teacher, I have seen its implementation and effectiveness throughout our campus. Jonathan has worked with us creating engaging and relevant lessons that are age appropriate for our campus. Jonathan has taught the students a variety of exercises that improve student’s focus, concentration, and problem-solving abilities. I have seen a difference when I use these strategies and they have most definitely made a difference in student’s behaviors during conflicts; both in the classroom and on the playground. Our school climate has improved because of the Life Ki-do program and it has assisted the teachers in aligning their practice! I have a great deal more to learn from Jonathan’s expertise and I look forward to his continued presence on our campus!” – Jaynelle Nestle, Assistant Principal, 3rd Grade Teacher at Casis Elementary School
“I admire Sensei Jonathan’s rapport with my students. From his first visit with my students, he demonstrated great respect for their feelings and ideas. He openly acknowledged feelings of anxiety, tension, fatigue, anger, and frustration in his time with my kids. He discussed how these feelings are normal and made the kids feel safe, open, and more respectful of each other’s feelings. He taught explicit strategies for recognizing their moods/feelings and how to self-regulate when needed. My students continue to use many of their Life Ki-do skills on a daily basis. Many use breathing techniques instinctually when they feel worried, embarrassed, tense, frustrated, or angry. They use the Life Ki-do Social Skill tools when they have a problem to resolve or a compromise to reach. As a classroom teacher, I learned a variety of new strategies for increasing student attention. Jonathan modeled many simple finger movements and listening exercises that would help strengthen students’ “listening muscles.” He also modeled several ways to tense and release muscles that helped students focus and prepare for learning. My students and I learned many new strategies from the Life Ki-do program and I recommend these tools for elementary students.” – Jennifer Mangels, 2nd Grade Teacher at Casis Elementary
“My class and I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from your presentation. They incorporated into their daily lives the techniques you taught them, and I continued to reinforce them as well. For instance, they continued to use the various forms of breathing when appropriate for the given situation or challenge. Whether they were upset, stressed, hyper, excited, etc., they made use of the breathing in order to find their centers. I recall that the timing of your visit was particularly helpful, as the students were getting ready to take the TAKS test for the first time, and some of them were experiencing anxiety about the TAKS. I am eager to learn more from you guys. You really do make a difference.” -Kathryn Nelson, 3rd Grade Teacher at Casis Elementary
“After getting to college I have only just begun to realize what a huge impact Life Ki-do training has had on me. It has been one of the singularly greatest things that has happened in my life and has given me the focus I need for anything I decide to do. It has given me the patience and diligence to deal with any obstacle, and it has kept me aware of life around me.” – Thomas C., Training with Life Ki-do for 7 years
“I have achieved a level of mental relaxation that I once thought impossible. This (Life Ki-do) training is far more applicable to my day-to-day life, as it affects nearly all of my actions. It has allowed me to see all sides of a problem by reminding me to not act hastily, to think about things before I do them. I have become much better at staying present. I have also learned to accept many of my emotions as part of life; not suppressing them while also not ignoring them. This is a hugely beneficial ability, as I rarely get annoyed at myself for making mistakes anymore, but instead let them pass and try to learn from them.” – John B., trained with Life Ki-do for 8 1/2 years
“From the beginning of my training, the Senseis stressed the importance of focus not just inside the dojo, but in everything we do. Over time, I realized that this was not a command, but an invitation to cherish every experience in our life, good or bad. If we put everything we have into what we do, our encounters will not only be more enjoyable, but will also become an opportunity to learn about ourselves and other people. Although physical fitness is important, the mental conditioning that I have received has made a bigger impression on my life.” – Jack V., trained with Life Ki-do for 9 years
“When I was 8 and first came to karate, I did it because it looked cool. Now, I do it for life training. One real beauty of this art is that it doesn’t stop at the dojo, it can be applied throughout your daily living. Using the breath as the foundation of how to live your life, you are relaxed and happy but always have room to better master yourself and remove your masks.” – Rene M., training with Life Ki-do for 10 years