By Brenda Young
As classes begin and the construction phase comes to an end, owner and lead instructor Drew Barrett takes the helm of his new business, Trusted Guard Martial Arts. The business celebrates its grand opening May 1.
“This is a major build that started in February,” Barrett said. “We’ve been doing a soft opening for a while, and we’re working out all the little details for the official opening May 1.”
Prior to opening Trusted Guard, Barrett was previously a martial arts program director at a different facility. He says his 30 years of experience started with his study of Hopkido (Kuk Sool Won) and traditional Tae Kwon Do.
“My roots are in Hopkido. Then, I began to study several different arts and am also a hyper pro trainer, so I do hyper martial arts,” Barrett said. “It (hyper pro) is a type of extreme martial arts geared toward training athletes, and this includes martial arts acrobatics, weapons, extreme weapons forms and open hand forms, and things like that. It’s really a lot of fun and a good workout.”
Barrett’s career is also highlighted by Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do, and he incorporates this with Hopkido and hyper pro training to offer a well-rounded balance for all his students’ needs and interests at Trusted Guard Martial Arts.
“Anybody who is looking for anything they like in other specific arts, such as Muay Thai and Karate, they’re going to find in these arts,” Barrett said.
Another facet of Barrett’s training is in Martial Ops, which he describes as a basic training for military and police forces, and he uses this to teach his instructors. He says requests for other workouts such as kickboxing and self-defense are not uncommon, and he is happy to incorporate these interests into his existing programs.
Although there is an element of self-defense included in each type of program, his future plans include offering seminars in women’s self-defense and bully prevention.
In order to meet the demand, Barrett has enlisted the help of several assistant instructors, which include his son Gabriel Barrett; nephew Uriah Barrett; and Christina Pevelka. With their help, Barrett hopes to instill personal growth and a love of martial arts to enhance each student’s life.
“If I can change someone’s life by even half a degree, they’re going to end up in a completely different place than they would have without this type of training. We’re also members of Martial Arts against Bullying,” Barrett added. “You know, a lot of people only think about the kicks and punches, and those are all great and fantastic if you or a loved one is ever attacked, but our focus is on personal achievement, character development, true confidence, strength, focus and attention — there’s a lot to it.”
So, what is one of the most important skills Barrett would like to pass on to his students?
“It is respect — respect for themselves and for one another,” he said.
Trusted Guard is open to students ranging from three to 93 years of age, although students 94-years-old and older would likely not be turned away.
Trusted Guard Martial Arts is currently offering open enrollment at their location at 719 Highway 183, right behind Smokey Mo’s Restaurant, or you can reach the dojo by calling (512) 260-KICK (5425).