MS. MELISSA BENTO
Martial arts plays a vital role in the lives of hundreds of thousands of students throughout the world. Regardless of how long a student was in martial arts, if they had an instructor who focused on aspects such as confidence building and integrity, that student was positively impacted. They will forever have that experience to reflect upon and apply to their everyday life.
Training in Tang Soo Do has instilled in me a desire to teach folks, especially youth. Tang Soo Do is reflected in my life outside of the studio; it helps motivate me to live a healthy lifestyle. I make time for friends and family, get out to hike and fish, and enjoy making artwork.
I don't believe that martial arts are for everyone, but martial arts are for someone. More importantly, a healthy lifestyle is vital for everyone, whether that's participating in one of our martial arts classes or heading to yoga or the climbing gym, being healthy helps us be happy.
How it all started:
When I was 14, with the help of some caring adults, I started Tang Soo Do. I trained in Tang Soo Do throughout most of high school, then zipped off to college where I jumped into fencing, Shotokan, and Judo during random semesters. After college I moved to Alaska with 2 suitcases and my dog. The first Saturday in Anchorage I rode a bus to Alaska Tang Soo Do Karate, I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of their school. For 7 years I trained and taught there, enjoying the camaraderie and rigorous training, earning my 3rd degree black belt. I moved to the great state of Montana early 2018, in the Middle of a February Blizzard. Great Falls is a wonderful community where I am able to be a part of all the activities I love.
My Credentials & Experience:
Certified instructor through the World Tang Soo Do Association (WTSDA). Certified in Adult and Child CPR. Corner and Center Judge certified with the WTSDA. Was the primary Kids Class instructor at AK Tang Soo Do and taught a 2 hour Saturday class for mixed ages and ranks for 6 years. Before leaving Alaska I was an instructor at a local athletic club where I taught cardio classes that incorporated martial arts and weight lifting classes.
I've assisted proctoring black belt and color belt tests, as well as lead color belt tests. I've center and corner judged for the WTSDA World tournament and have been a center and corner judge for local, regional, and international tournaments.
I've held fun, basic fire starting clinics, using flint and steel. After tournaments, I've taught clinics focusing on reaction time and basic ground work and self-defense clinics to clerks of courts and Magistrate Judges. Myself and fellow instructors taught self-defense clinics to the Anchorage community, donating proceeds to local organizations.