Martial Arts in Kettering

There are so many martial arts schools in any major city and the Greater Dayton Area is no exception. With so many schools to chose from, you might not know where to begin. How does one school stand out from the rest? Where is the best Martial Arts in Kettering?

Well for starters, TAMA Martial Arts is home to eight major systems of martial arts. The ability to train at our facilities with “Unlimited Access” to classes for those who sign up to this tier program, makes us an instant hit with serious martial arts “lifers” as well as beginners alike. Prospective students can come in and try out classes to see which is the best fit for them. For those interested in the concept of “Mixed Martial Arts,” the more systems available to the the student the better.

Depending on your goals, different combinations of martial arts systems might be desirable. For those interested in close quarters combat and tactical martial art, a combination of our Kali/Escrima program, with our Krav Maga system, is a natural pairing. Perhaps one wants the popular “MMA” combo of Brazilian Jiujitsu and Muay Thai? We have them both here, as well as more Martial Arts in Kettering than any other school.

Maybe one wants to start with an art like Kenpo Karate, and then add on other systems as they develop proficiency. This is an option that many of our students take.

Maybe one wants to blend a study of Yang style Taijiquan with Aikido/Aikijutsu? This is a powerful combination that focuses on similar principles. Or maybe the Kung Fu practitioner wants to focus on internal methods of Kung Fu found in Yang or Chen styles of Taiji? Maybe the Yang style practitioner wants to dig deep into the roots of their system in the Chen Village, with our Chen Taiji program.

All of these are opinions at TAMA Martial Arts, but you will be hard pressed to find a similar array of options at any school within hundreds of miles.


Our system came from the late Grandmaster Donald Fong from China handed down to Grandmaster Tim Gasper. Our distinct Tama Kenpo Karate training program stick to the traditional methods however relatively streamlined. Regardless of its simplicity, it is still challenging for martial artists when weighed to that of the other karate program in present times. It is identified to be less complicated to master than to classic Chinese Kung-Fu. With our training program, we assist trainees boost their physical, mental, and spiritual skills. Our team strongly knew that by building these particular skills, the student’s toughness, stamina, self-confidence, and self-esteem are built at the same time.


Combining a blend of techniques from these grappling styles, TAMA’s Grappling and Submission Fighting class is one of our most exciting and popular.

Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) program is one our most popular and exciting classes. The students are taught the Art of Practical combative Jiu-Jitsu and Sport grappling targeted for those interested in participating in Jiu-jitsu tournaments and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitions.

In addition to our long-standing relationship with Sensei Shawn Hammonds, TAMA is also an affiliate of Professor Luiz Palhares, one of the rare individuals given the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jits by GrandMaster Carlos Robson Gracie in 2018. After training with the legendary Rolls and Carlos Gracie, Luiz Palhares began training under the undefeated Rickson Gracie, (who is said to have over 400 fights with one disputed technicality).


Our Muay Thai and kickboxing is an extremely exciting, high-impact class. This class is open to both people that want to train for competition and those that are just drawn to Muay Thai as a practical means of conditioning and superior health. We have all the equipment needed for class available for purchase at TAMA.

Since 1980 when TAMA was the first school to ever bring Muay Thai kickboxing program to the Dayton/Kettering/Miami Valley area, our program has continued to grow. Our spacious facility is one of the area’s most complete boxing and kickboxing gyms.

With a full-size boxing ring, TAMA’s Muay Thai and kickboxing program provides the students a realistic training in “being-in-the-ring” experience. Our assistant coaches, for both adults and children classes, are caring individuals and experienced fighters themselves who have competed in the ring and won! With our own competition fighting team, TAMA has brought Muay Thai and kickboxing training to a higher level!

We are proud to be the only school certified by United World Muay Thai Association in Montgomery County area.


T’ai Chi Ch’uan (also transliterated as “Taijiquan”), is a “soft” martial art belonging to the “Internal Family” (Nei Jia), along with such martial arts as Pa Kua Chang (Baguazhang), and Hsing-I Ch’uan (Xingyiquan). T’ai Chi complements the more “external” (Wai Jia), martial arts, like Kenpo Karate and Muay Thai, as well as traditional Northern Chinese Kung Fu systems.

T’ai Chi complements the more “external” (Wai Jia), martial arts, like Kenpo Karate and Muay Thai. Translated, “T’ai Chi Ch’uan” means “Ultimate Boxing” or “Limitless Fist,” or even “Natural Order Boxing” (as “Taiji” is a synonym for the “Tao” in Taoism). The system can legendarily be traced back to the ancient Taoist “Chang, San-Feng,” though the practice may have existed for thousands of years before that time in a more rudimentary form and under a different name. What we know for certain, however, is that the Chen Village is the documentable source of T’aijiquan, and that the Yang, Lu-Chan “Long Form” stems directly from the Chen style “Yi Lu” Lao Jia form and techniques.

Regardless of when or exactly by whom it was started, T’ai Chi is rooted in Taoist principles of Yin and Yang, as they are expressed martially through the Eight Gates and Five Directions – the forces of Peng (Ward Off), Lu (Roll Back), Ji (Press), An (Push), Tsai (Pull Down/Snatch), Lieh (Split), Jo (Elbow) and Kao (Shoulder strike).and Front (Jin), Back (Tui), Left (Ku), Right (Pan) and Central Equilibrium (Ding).


Aikijutsu is said to have been founded by Prince Tejun, the sixth son of the Emperor Seiwa (850 – 880 AD). As the sixth son he was far from the line of succession to the thrown and this left him a lot of time to practice the martial arts. Through the Prince’s son, it was passed on to the succeeding generations of Tsunamoto. Following Tsunamoto he art was passed down as a secret Bujutsu, (martial art), of the Minamoto family for many generations.

The art of Aikijutsu eventually reached General Shima Saburo Yoshimitsu Minamoto (1159 – 1189), the younger brother of Yoshie Minamoto. Yoshimitsu had many talents, poet, priest, and physician. Legend has it that he devised much of his Aiki techniques while watching a spider skillfully trap a larger insect in its web.

Yoshimitsu’s study as a physician led to great contributions to the art of Aikijutsu.1t is recorded that Yoshimitsu studied anatomy by dissecting the bodies of war victims and executed criminals to study the effects of various martial arts techniques on these bodies.

General Yoshimitsu named the art “Daito Ryu Aikijutsu”, the word Daito coming from the name of his manor Yoshimitsu’s second son, Yoshikiyo moved to the town of Takeda in Kai Province. He changed his name to Takeda and taught Daito Ryu techniques to his families and close retainers.


During all the war and strife, the art of Arnis de Mano struggled along. In early times, it was not known as Arnis de Mano. Our Filipino Martial Art (FMA) program is an exciting blend of traditional and contemporary Filipino Kali with Eskrima and Jeet Kune Do (JKD). Kali is known for its dynamic footwork, fluid hand techniques, and powerful weaponry. When these elements combine, Kali is a complete martial arts training and self-defense program. Kali’s versatile techniques are integrated such that the methods and concepts are essentially interchangeable whether you are using sticks, knives, or empty hands or some combination of the three. Looking for mental development? Balance? Better coordination? Kali’s close-quarter drills help improve focus and attain a calm mind under pressure.


Krav Maga is a modern, and dynamic, military self-defense and fighting system developed for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli security forces derived from a combination of techniques sourced from Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, Aikido, Filipino Kali, Muay Thai, Jiujitsu, and Karate. Its focus on real-world combative situations and their effectiveness and efficiency. Our Krav program is the culmination of Master Manuel Taningco’s ISD (Integrated Self-Defense) program, along with Dr. Micah Naziri’s Krav Maga Penimi, created by combining additional systems of Escrima/Kali, and Pencak Silat, as well as other systems of Nei Jia Kung Fu, with the existing Krav Maga the latter studied throughout the United States and the State of Israel, where he became an instructor in this system.


Though the term “Kung Fu” refers to “skill” in virtually anything, the meaning when it comes to martial arts systems, is “Training” (Kung) and “Time” (Fu) in the Chinese Martial Arts, to develop such skill or “kungfu.” While our Taijiquan programs are, without question “Kung Fu,” when we distinguish a class by this specific name, it is for ease of reference – referring to our Northern Shaolin-like system of Tien Shan Pai. This northern style is said to have originated in the Tien Shan mountains of northwestern China, and though it resembles Northern Shaolin systems in many regards, its lineage is said to be Taoist in nature and history. This style is characterized by it sweeping and graceful movements. While learning our system you will learn how to improve your balance, strength, flexibility and the ability to defend yourself if the need arises. You will obtain the confidence and discipline that will help you in other aspects of your life.

Our curriculum is structured to allow the student to progressively grow and improve with each level they achieve. We offer many empty hand and weapons forms along with self-defense techniques for today’s world.

Looking for Martial Arts in Kettering? Which style or style suits you? Give us a call at 937-254-7035 to schedule a time for you to come in and start trying classes out! Also, don’t forget to add us on Facebook and follow on Instagram!

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