The Coast News Group
Happy students Madison (4) and Noah (8) pose with instructors in celebration of their first belt graduation at the Rancho Bernardo location of Premier Marial Arts. A new studio recently opened at 191 N. El Camino Real, Suite 201, in Encinitas. Courtesy photo
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Empowering children’s lives through martial arts

ENCINITAS — With all the negative influences being pressed upon our children these days, there is one positive influence parents can turn to — martial arts. One of the newest centers, or dojos, is Premier Martial Arts in Rancho Bernardo, with a second location opening this month in Encinitas.

Owner Morris Lifschutz says, “We specialize in promoting character development in children through the study of martial arts. Our unique curriculum helps our students become well-rounded martial artists, mostly by combining Karate, Tae Kwon Do, kickboxing and Krav Maga.”

Krav Maga is combat-style self-defense created by the Israeli Defense Forces. It favors practical and realistic movements for quickly disarming a foe who may have a knife or gun or engaging in close-quarter, hand-to-hand combat. Lifschutz says the PMA website features videos showing demonstrations, as well as photos, testimonials and blogs.

He goes on to say, “Studying martial arts not only promotes character development and respect for others, but improves fitness, as well as enhances confidence, focus, and concentration, which can help to improve a child’s academics.”

For adults, Premier Martial Arts combines the highly effective self-defense disciplines of Krav Maga and kickboxing. “We also teach techniques using weapons such as nunchucks, Bo staffs and Kali sticks.

Instructor Houston Arriaga has a “mat chat” and shares the monthly Black Belt Excellence lesson with students. Premier Martial Arts believes that all children are special and capable of greatness and they seek to provide students with the skills needed to be exceptional. Courtesy photo

Born in Vancouver, Canada, Lifschutz has spent a good portion of his adult life in Southern California, especially in the Los Angeles area, before finding his way to San Diego in 2011. He says he began studying martial arts at age 5. “As a kid, martial arts was the only sport I was able to do well.”

Quickly moving up the various levels, Lifschutz earned a black belt at age 12. By then, having built up his strength and confidence, he participated in other sports, such as football, wrestling and track.

A fun activity for both children and adults, he says, is PMA’s karate birthday parties. “Our martial arts instructors provide an hour and a half of fun and excitement for the kids, while the parents sit back and watch their children being led through several martial arts games, some of which allow the kids to break boards in front of their friends and watch the birthday child cut the cake with a real Samurai sword.”

“As the owner of Premier Martial Arts,” Lifschutz says, “I have very high expectations on how we impact our members. It’s important for me to see them smiling and having fun, but we also want to see them grow in their goals.

One way we accomplish this is by each month focusing on a brand-new Black Belt Excellence Principle (12 of them), which helps parents see the impact on their children, especially when they choose to do chores like making their beds each night after participating in the various character-building disciplines they learned in class.”

“It’s a team effort,” he continues. “Forms are sent home for the parents and schoolteachers to sign off. We want to know that the children are practicing what they learn in the studio.”

What makes Lifschutz especially proud is when he sees a shy child transform into a confident individual.

Lifschutz and his team have a special offer for readers of the Coast News. New members can learn more by scheduling a free, private introductory lesson with one of our instructors by texting COAST to (760) 230-3065. 

Premier Martial Arts

191 N. El Camino Real, Suite 201, Encinitas

Mon-Fri 12 noon-9 p.m.