Our History  


Our school was founded in 1997 by a concerned Montgomery County School active PTA Parent, Mr. Gary Lattanzio.

At the time, the PTA of his eldest son's school was looking for after school activities to give its students something productive to do with their free time, and reduce the amount of time its students were spending in front of the television and video games.

The PTA searched for a Karate Program to come the their school one day a week to teach children and work with some students who were beginning to get into trouble because they had too much free time after school. The PTA discovered that all the karate programs/schools had excessive tuition and wouldn't give any discounts for persons of modest income. Commercial Sport Karate has become a costly contracted monthly or yearly expense beyond the reach of many families.

Mr. Lattanzio and the PTA discovered that modern Karate Schools were charging hidden fees for Uniforms, Belt Tests, Tournament participation, long-term legal contracts, etc. These schools were passing students through the Belt Ranks at amazing speeds, so much so that a young child could be given a Black Belt in three years of classes meeting several days a week.


Mr. Lattanzio himself had completed his training over a six year period in his twenties and knew it is not possible to learn all of the skills and techniques to be a Black Belt when the students' bodies are not even fully grown.

Many of the more traditional methods of instruction were abandoned in the interests of speed and as a result, the graduates of these programs were not well prepared for either defending themselves in a negative situation, but more importantly missed out on some of the important lessons of self mastery and self discipline.

As a result, Mr. Lattanzio, decided to start a After School Karate program himself meeting one day a week at his son's school. He charged a minimum fee to cover the cost of insurance, which is required by Montgomery County to use any county or school facility.

Once other PTA's learned of his program he was asked to establish more after school programs. As time passed Mr. Lattanzio found other Black Belts who were equally appalled at the state of the art form at the hands of modern day commercial karate schools. These instructors joined with Mr. Lattanzio and allowed him to keep his current job and yet expand the program to more schools.


About this time the first students and Mr. Lattanzio's own son had progressed to the level that they needed to train more than one day a week. Our evening classes developed from our growing AfterSchoolKarate programs to allow our more motivated and upper belt students to attend classes two or three times per week.

As the parents of the students became more involved, some expressed interest in training as well. As an experiment, Mr. Lattanzio started training the parents at the same time as the children, but in separate groups with the help of additional instructors. This has proven to be very popular and very effective training for both the adults and the children. Our unique Parent/Child class allows the whole family to take classes together in the same class. Not available in our Jr. Dragon class.


Today the school operates in three locations in the evening and at various county schools and recreation facilities. More advanced self defense and weapon courses have been added and the program continues to evolve and grow with each semester.

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