A family atmosphere, respect and authentic lessons – although only open since September 2002, Victory Martial Arts school has already established excellent standards in Brookings.
Victory Martial Arts, located at 114 W. Folsom St., teaches certified Tae Kwon Do/Hapkido classes, Kumdo classes which encompass the art of the sword as well as cardio kickboxing and a Little Tigers Program for 4- to 5-year-olds, and, it is the only martial arts facility in Brookings.
Owner and head instructor Scott Bachmeier, respectfully called Mr. Scott by his students, said many people misunderstand Tae Kwon Do.
“A lot of people have a misconception about what Tae Kwon Do is,” Bachmeier said. “For some schools, Tae Kwon Do means the sport end, like kicking and going to tournaments.”
“In my school, the Tae Kwon Do I teach is the old, traditional ‘kwonbop’ style, which are old Korean techniques of hand-to-hand and weapon combat,” Bachmeier said. “My class is to protect yourself and your family; that’s what martial arts is about.”
He said he hopes to instill physical fitness, self-confidence, manners and discipline in the children he instructs. Adults are taught self-defense and a “deeper knowledge of the tradition of martial arts.”
“This is a martial arts school because you come here to learn the art,” he said. “I feel we have such a high level of respect for each other. Martial arts is about positive things and we have a really positive feeling here.”
Victory Martial Arts is fully certified and students have the option of competing in regional tournaments each month.
The facility also has an Olympic training floor to “train effectively and not worry about the injury factor.”
At Victory Martial Arts students are taught the history behind the techniques they use. It also has a warm family atmosphere that many students enjoy.
“What most people don’t understand about a true Tae Kwon Do school is that we’re a family,” said Katie Oster, an assistant instructor and student.
“I’m here three nights a week and it’s always like coming home for me,” Oster said. “Since I’m from Sioux Falls, my family is not here all the time and these guys are.
“I have studied at four other schools and the atmosphere the first time I walked in told me this is where I wanted to be,” she said.
Students range from 4 to 68-years-old and “anyone can join if they have a good attitude.” It costs $35 a month for college students.
Adam Bertrand, a student who attends Tae Kwon Do classes, said he feels confident in what he learns there.
“This place is for real. Mr. Scott helps make this place a family environment,” Bertrand said. “It’s the peace of mind you could handle a situation if it arises. If a situation comes up, I feel confident that I can deal with it.”
Mr. Scott has taught Martial Arts for 11 years. He said he enjoys his job and the opportunities to teach others.
“I love martial arts. I do this to share my knowledge with other people,” he said. “It’s fun and it’s safe.”