Coleman Patterson, Head Tae Kwon Do and Fencing Instructor

Coleman began his martial arts training in karate and judo as a student at the University of Florida in 1986 and eventually went on to earn a brown belt (san-kyu) in Wado Ryu Karate at the former Florida Karate Center (now World Martial Arts Center) in Gainesville, Florida under Sensei Mike Sawyer (ESPN kickboxing and martial arts commentator and U.S. Open organizer), Sensei Mike McCoy (U.S. Open & ISKA World Martial Arts Championships tournament organizer and television commentator), and Sensei Cory Schafer (ISKA president) in 1988.  He was promoted to second-level brown belt (ni-kyu) in Wado Ryu Karate in 1994 while a member of the University of Alabama Wado Ryu Karate Club.

Years later, Coleman started over as a white belt in a new, but similar, style--Tae Kwon Do.  He went on to earn a black belt from Team Chip/Master Lim's Tae Kwon Do in Abilene, Texas.  He taught children and adult classes at Team Chip for more than two years.  He began teaching karate classes at his university in 2006 and at the Family Life Center at First Baptist Church of Abilene in 2009.  The growth of those programs led to the establishment of a permanent  school location--which occurred in June 2010.

The move to the new building also allowed Coleman to bring back his old affection for fencing and to share it with others in Abilene.  Introduced to fencing through a physical education class at the University of Florida in 1985, Coleman also participated in the UF Fencing Club during his time as an undergraduate student at UF.  He is a professional member of the United States Fencing Association and has taught a fencing class for Hardin-Simmons University in addition to the classes through TMAC.

In his job as a college professor and through his personal interests and activities, Coleman is a teacher.  He constantly strives to make learning interesting, practical, and useful.  He challenges and pushes his students while taking the time to encourage and instruct.  Coleman believes that martial arts training should be fun, challenging, and useful.

 


  

Lou Ivie, Head Kajukenbo Instructor

Lou began his martial arts study in 1976 with a brief stint in an old-school Kenpo dojo. Not suiting his pursuit, he looked for training in another style until 1978, when he found an Okiru Ryu Ju Jitsu/Wing Chun Kung Fu school in Fort Worth, Texas.  He trained there for two years.

In 1999, Lou began training in Kyokushin Karate under Shihan Wes Bales (presently an active 6th degree black belt). After 22 months, he decided to branch out and try a different style.  It was then he discovered The Noble Method of Kajukembo--which quickly became his passion.

Sifu Lou holds a 3rd degree black belt in Kajukenbo. He competed in tournaments for the first six years of his training and is currently under the guidance of the founder/creator of the Noble System, Professor Patrick McDaniel.  Lou trains with another of the Professor's students, Sifu Demond Landry in Abilene.  Lou describes Kajukenbo as "one of the most innovative and brutal styles that we have available today."  He is most proud to be an instructor at Texas Martial Arts Center.

Lou teaches our Kajukenbo classes and leads the all-school "Friday Night Fights" sparring class.  He is a passionate and caring teacher who whole-heartedly enjoys sharing his art with others.

 


Jeff Pollitt, Tae Kwon Do Instructor

A native of Tyler, Texas, Jeff began his martial arts training at six years old.  Earning a black belt in tae kwon do in Tyler, he continued to train and was eventually promoted to third degree black belt at Hong's Martial Arts in Abilene.  Jeff served in the Air Force, lives in Abilene with his wife and children, and runs the TMAC program in Cisco.

 


Hunter Irwin, Tae Kwon Do Instructor

Hunter is currently a Texas Tech University student who began his martial arts training at an early age.  Hunter was our first TMAC TKD black belt.  In 2012, Hunter received the inaugural Timothy Maddox Excellence in Teaching Award for his patient and personable teaching.  Hunter's brother, sisters, and dad also work out with us at TMAC.

 


Thomas Walke, Tae Kwon Do Instructor

Thomas started training with TMAC in the early days at the Family Life Center in 2009.  Holds black belts in TKD and Kajukenbo.  He is an Abilene native, a McMurry alumnus, manager/owner of Stephen's Rubber Stamps and Signs (caddy corner from the TMAC building), and participates in activities with the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum.  His wife, Stephanie, and daughter are also TMAC people.

 


Courtney Wester, Tae Kwon Do and Fencing Instructor

Having originally come to us as a fencer in 2011, Courtney quickly jumped into the karate program as well.  She is a black belt in our karate/TKD program.  Courtney teaches at our Clyde center and in our family TKD and fencing classes--where she fences all three weapons, but has a special fondness for sabre.  Courtney is an Abilene native and works at Hendrick Hospital.  Her sons and husband, Adam, also train with us at TMAC.  She's won a breaking tournament through TKDNation.com and placed second in a TKDNation.com forms tournament and third in the Big D Nationals in Dallas.

 


Jack Patterson, Assistant Instructor

Jack started his training as a little dragon at five years old.  He is a high school student and a black belt in tae kwon do.  Jack assists with and regularly participates in the family tae kwon do classes. (old picture)

 


Tom Smith, Fencing Instructor

Tom started fencing in 1981 in the Bay Area of California.  After several attempts to find a suitable salle, he ended up taking a fencing class at a local community college that fit around his work schedule. He continued studying and fencing for about 14 years.

Tom's training background was in the classical French-developed sport style. His first instructor was an advocate of maestro Selberg.  He enjoys all aspects of competitive fencing--including footwork, aerobic training, and building stamina.

Tom was born in Oakland and was raised in Alameda, California.  He lived in New York City for ten years before moving back to California.  After some time living in Alabama, he moved to Abilene in 2009.  Tom has worked on Wall Street, with NYPD, Pfizer Pigments, and Shell Oil Products.  He retired in 2008 after working for the State of Alabama. Tom attended Golden Gate University and the New York Institute of Technology.

As Tom says, "I am extremely pleased that TMAC began the fencing program.  I have been looking for a place to return to the sport and I am enjoying it once again, possibly more than ever before. The fun part now is helping teach new fencers, and seeing them progress.  It is also inspiring to know that I can still fence with the younger folks and be competitive. The physical fitness gains are a welcome bonus, too."

 


Our good friend and colleague, Robert MacBrock, passed away on July 25, 2011.  We have established an award in Robert's memory for students at TMAC.

Robert MacBrock, Fencing Instructor

Robert helps teach foil techniques in our Fencing I classes.  His instructor biography, in his own words, follows.

"I was born in Abilene and, despite living in several cities during my formative years, it has always been home for me. After graduating from Cooper High School and attending a year of college at McMurry University, I left home to see...and do. I lived in Tucson and Yuma, Arizona for a time as a civil service worker and in San Francisco working for the Douglas Fishing Company and the Bay Area Irish Cultural Center.  Afterwards, I moved back into civil service work at Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, Texas.  I later moved to Big Spring, Texas and worked as direct care staff and then back to Abilene working for MHMR. Soon after my return home I met the woman of my dreams, Karyn, and got married.  It wasnít long after that my daughter Feona was born.

As a child and to this day, I have had to adapt to my unique physical deformities.  I was born with severe scoliosis, a degenerative spinal syndrome, and a defective heart and circulatory system.  Those problems and limitations never stopped me from doing what I wanted to do--my only true fears are uncontrolled heights and spiders, but other than that, Iím up for anything.

Fencing for me has been a long-time passion.  I read any and every book that I could find on fencing and watched every movie that I could get my hands on.  I mimicked the on-screen action over and over--it was my escape from a sometimes not-so-friendly world.

My childhood games involved playing knights, musketeers, and pirates. Those passions stayed with me all the way into my 20s and 30s when renaissance fairs and reenactment societies drew my attention.  It was in those places and with those people that I learned to fence studying the manuscripts and techniques of many Italian, French, and German masters.

Nowadays, the fencing program at TMAC is giving me what I always wanted--a chance to learn and practice fencing technique in a traditional Olympic-style format emphasizing education, practice, and positive reinforcement.

I will always be me, handicaps and all.  There was a time not too long ago I thought I would soon be in a wheelchair, but ever since I joined TMAC, I no longer walk with a cane and the wheelchair will not be making its appearance anytime soon."

 

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Texas Martial Arts Center, LLC
1174 Butternut Street
Abilene, Texas 79602
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