New Taekwondo America Sr Partner Ms. Mel Thompson
6th Degree Black Belt
Hilliard Taekwondo Academy
Ms. Thompson started her martial arts journey as a lobby mom, enjoying the few moments to herself to be able to read while her son and daughter were in class at Perdue’s Westerville Taekwondo. After finally trying a class to get the owners to stop nagging her, she was hooked when her muscles were sorer after one taekwondo class than they ever were with the athletic club personal trainer.
She followed the path of so many school owners: earned her Black Belt, became an instructor and then finally a school owner. And like many school owners, balanced a full time “day job” with teaching martial arts in the evening.
As Hilliard Taekwondo Academy became more successful, she was able to give up the full time job and focus solely on teaching taekwondo.
What motivates Ms. Thompson to “go to work” each day and teach class after class is the increasing confidence she sees in students as they overcome challenges to learn new skills and earn stripes and belts; as well as the growing confidence of her instructor team as they develop their teaching, communication and leadership skills.
When she’s not at the taekwondo school, Ms. Thompson might be reading, exercising, leading her small group, moving equipment on or off stage at church, or meeting friends for coffee.
Her advice to new or future school owners: “Be authentic when you teach. Stay humble because there is always someone who is better at something than you are. Get to know other school owners within Taekwondo America and ask for suggestions. It’s a great organization made up of terrific people with a lot of experiences to share.”