Reviews From Our Exton Gym Members
We are proud of the difference that we have made in the lives of the children and adults who are part of Dragon Gym community. Learn how participating in our programs increases confidence, focus, and fitness in our members—all while fostering a sense of community and fun!
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Jamie tells us how DG has worked wonders for her two daughters, and particularly how classes have helped with her youngest's gross motor delay.
"Hello, I'm Jaime Magnotta. I have two girls, Chloe and Emma. Chloe is in core class, and she started when she was in basic. She wants to be a junior instructor someday, so she loves it. She loves coming to glass. Emma just started about six months ago. She is in the early skills. We started Emma because she actually has something called hypotonia. Basically, it's just low muscle tone. So, she was diagnosed with it when she was nine months old. She has the gross motor delay. She wasn't crawling, doing anything like that. We had decided that it would a good idea for Emma to do [martial arts classes at Dragon Gym] for her balance and agility, and everything that they do during the class is everything that her therapist does for her. I show the therapist videos and everything like that, and she's been so impressed with everything that they do during class with Emma. So, it's actually helped Emma tremendously with her gross motor delay. We love it because it's just so great for the girls. The staff here is awesome. My husband actually does kettlebell classes here as well, so he loves it. I definitely recommend Dragon Gym. I have already actually. It's fantastic for families."Jamie M., DG parent
Why should you start your child in one of our martial arts programs? Let Laura answer that for you :). Brand new DG mom (they joined our family yesterday!) and former teacher Laura tells us several of her wonderful reasons why she loves the DG community, classes, and instructors, and what makes DG the perfect fit for her daughter and "Ninja Princess", Lydia :). Thank you Laura, and welcome to the family!!
"Hi, my name is Laura. My daughter is three years old, and her name is Lydia. She just started the early skills class here at Dragon Gym. And I can not say how wonderful it has been with her, in three short classes she's worked on focus and discipline. She loves coming here and earning her stripes. Every instructor she has had has been so encouraging. And I think especially at three that's so important to get her interested and motivated. She can't wait to get her uniform on. She can't wait to come to class. She already knows most of the instructors by name. And just really enjoys everything. I am a former teacher, and as a former teacher, I can't stress the importance of focus and discipline, the exact things they work on here at Dragon Gym. I think in terms of the lesson plans that really stand out, I really like the attention to detail. Like if instructor asks something and the response is not with 'yes sir', it's making sure that they say 'yes sir', every time. That consistency is so important, in the classroom. And not only my classroom, but in the Dragon Gym classroom. So that's one thing that I've noticed. The other thing I love the way that the instructors speak to the students, it's on their level, and it's with such encouragement. And, you know, such love that they talk to them. There's always high fives and good jobs. Even if they're not the best at the activity, they always make sure that everyone feels like they've done a good job. I have been recommending this program to my friends and my family because I think outside of school, it's really important for students to have, or young kids to have an outlet. And I think that Dragon Gym encourages such a sense of community. I've seen online the congratulations for the black belts, and there was just a barbecue, and summer camp is running right now. And everyone seems to know each other, and just really create a sense of a family community, along with the skills that they encourage, and the disciplines that they're teaching."Laura W., DG Mom & Former Teacher
"He's better in school, he's more respectful to his teachers, his peers, he's learned to help others, he's learned to talk to others..."
Rachel S.: I'm Rachel Suplee, and this is Larry Suplee, and we're parents here at Dragon Gym. And the reason why we got [our son] Will started, almost two years ago, was because he needed a little bit of discipline, to learn more respect, and to work better with other kids his own age. He's an only child, and this was a great opportunity for him to learn how to share and wait patiently and listen, and it's worked wonders for him. He's better in school, he's more respectful to his teachers, his peers, he's learned to help others, he's learned to talk to others, he's learned to really respect the older kids, and he wants to be a Junior Instructor one day, and that's his goal now. Larry S.: Really, one of our favorite things about Dragon Gym really is the structure, and really the instructors really make the program with their patience, tolerance, and really meeting all the kids sort of where they are to help them achieve their goals and really working with small goals to help them achieve and really feel as though they are growing.Rachel S. & Larry S., DG Parents
DG mom, Fran, tells us why she loves DG for her boys, Luis and Hondo.
I have two boys at DG, currently, [at] Dragon Gym Berwyn. One is seven, one is nine; so they started when they were six and eight. And it started out with my older son who's really gregarious but needs to home it a little bit. He needs a little more focus and a little less pride, and he has found that. He has really become much more humble, not as aggressive. He really sees a whole picture now and I find it, sometimes it's nice, that he can just leave it on the mat. So that's been really great for Luis. But then we also have Hondo who started out at six, really shy. Not anti-social but just shy, quiet. And now, I mean, he puts himself out there like never before and I can see he's actually grown, physically; grown up. He stands taller, he assesses his situation, and he knows he can handle it; whereas before, he was kinda small and meek and timid and now, he's got it and he knows he's got DG behind him. For both boys it's been nice. For me, when it comes down to it, if we have any behavioral issues, anything like that, at school, anywhere else, not even here on the mat, I know I have the support of DG. So if it comes down to it I can say, Luis was rotten to his brother today and the guys will keep an eye on it and kind of see, you know, will kinda keep them separate a little bit, and at the same time not separate them so much that they're making it a vibe. They're kind of gently putting them back together. For me, as mom, that's amazing. And the fact that my two year old can run around here and feel right at home to break down and reassess the waters and everything else, again, as a mom, I always feel welcome here. On my best days, on my worst days, DG has been awesome to us.
Michelle, a long-time observer from our parents' balcony, finally took the plunge and joined her son, Michael, on the mats. She tells us of her first class experience.
Hi, my name is Michelle, and I decided to finally take the jump and start Tae Kwan Do. My son, Michael, has been coming for about five years, and it's about time to head out of the balcony and onto the mats. It was a great time. I really enjoyed my first class.Michelle W, DG Mom & Taekwondo Student
Dynamic father and son duo, Ken & Charlie, tell us why they love the Dragon Gym!
Charlie: I'm Charlie Sliwka, I go to Taekwondo here at Dragon Gym. I really like it. And I'm almost a, I'm not a brown belt yet, but I will be a brown belt. I really like being a brown belt because after that there is red and then black. Ken: That was fantastic. My name is Ken Sliwka and... we started coming to Dragon Gym in the Fall 2015. What I love about it is the kids program. I mean I do Jiu Jitsu with instructor Chris Taylor. The kids program is amazing. All the instructors are just, they are so encouraging, so motivating, I can't, you know once-- even after a couple of weeks, I knew the kids were going to love it. It's great for their discipline too, and just their overall confidence. I've seen both of them grow. When Matthew, he just turned eight years old, so he is in a core program. And Charlie isin the... basic program. He started in the early skills. But they both have progressed so well, and so fast. I can't believe it. Traditionally, you know, we did other sports and stuff, but I didn't have this when I was a growing up: a Dojo where you can come and do multiple martial arts. But again, it's all about the people here though. There are a lot of martial arts studios out there, but there is nothing that compares to Dragon Gym. We love it here! Thank you.Ken S., DGBJJ Student, & Charlie S., DG Children's Program Student
DG Owner and Instructor Chris Taylor tells us why he loves our Early Skillz classes for his son, Ben.
Hi everybody, my name is Chris Taylor. I'm from the Dragon Gym. I'm one of the owners. I've been teaching here, and I've been involved with the Dragon Gym, for over 21 years. And in that time, I've seen a lot of things come and go. A few years ago, we were introduced to the Skillz [Age-Specific Martial Arts] Program, and it really took off in our school. We really love a lot of aspects of it. When we decided to start the early program, I didn't see so much viability in that, because of the age of the kids, it's hard to get a lot of results from them. Well, my son, who's four now, started the program. He's been doing it now for three or four months (he started when he was three). In that time, I've seen a surprising level of influence from Lindsay and Joe. Shockingly. He's around the gym all the time, and I'm seeing direct influence from them around the house, you know, he's doing class moves, he's crawling, he's running, he's jumping, he's punching, he knows his blocks. And I'll be honest with you, with all the experience that I've had throughout the years, I'm still quite impressed. If you have a kid that's in the age range, the three to four age range, which is our early program, think about it. It's something that there's a much more tangible result than what even our best marketing team can demonstrate. I'm really impressed with them. So I think that you guys will be impressed as well.Chris Taylor, DG Owner & Head Instructor
Find out why the Winegar family loves the Dragon Gym and highly recommends it for everybody :)
Hi, I'm Stephanie Winegar and our son Mitchell is in the Extreme Class here at DG. He also has started [classes in] the kid's jiu-jitsu program, which he thoroughly loves, and [he's a part of the] junior instructor program, so he has been here several nights a week, some Saturdays, and he loves it. He never complains about coming, he's so excited. It's helped him with his leadership, and his confidence was always there, but it's helped put some things in place. So we really love it here, highly recommend it for everybody. My husband and I did try a kettleball class last night since we're here so much and trying to just get even more involved. We love Dragon Gym and highly recommend it and all the staff.Stephanie W, DG mom
Dina and her son, Michael, on why they love Dragon Gym so much. (And trust us, the feeling is mutual!)
Hi, everyone. My name is Dina. I am a student at Dragon Gym. I've been here a little more than two years, and I started after watching my son, Michael, who's in the Extreme class, on the mat for a few months. I was in the balcony and decided that I wanted to join him because it would be much more fun if we did this together. So we've both been here a little more than two years, and we just love it. We tried so many different sports, and he just didn't like any of them. None of them stuck, and we got here and he just said, I love this. So sorta funny story on the way into work this morning. I was dropping Michael off at daycare, and he went to CCD last night, and he said, are you gonna sign me up again [for CCD] next year? And I said yes, why? And he said, well, it's kind of boring and they make me focus and read boring stuff, and they make me do what they're telling me to do. And I said, well, at Dragon Gym, they make you focus and you have to do what they tell you to do. And he said, yeah, but they're a lot more fun and I can make friends and I can laugh. And he said, and they really like kids. So I really love it here. Dragon Gym has just been wonderful for us, and we're so happy to be part of this family.Dina P., DG Black Belt & DG Mom
I’ve been pushed beyond my physical and mental breaking points but not broken, made stronger and more resilient. I’ve been humbled by former Masters Instructors to teach me that not only being a good athlete is needed one must also be mentally sharp.
What does becoming a Master level Martial Arts Instructor mean to me? By: Kim Mukalian My Journey in Martial Arts training began over 20 years ago at the Dragon Gym. Why here, why then? Well basically I needed to find some inner courage and strength to rebuild my own being and find self worth. This was a realization to me after years of being suppressed and controlled both physically and mentally by a person whom I thought “loved me”. After several failed attempts to leave the situation and having my self esteem and confidence taken from me, I prayed and asked for guidance and had had enough! There had to be more for me, more that I could believe in instead of fear? So I stumbled across Dragon Gym Martial Arts in the yellow pages in the phone book, took a ride down, had a one on one training session, and felt at home and excited about beginning a future here. I remember meeting Grand Master Chae T. Goh and he helping me through some knee issues, allowing me to train in a training shoe so that I could wear my orthotics. Also, one hot summer night playing dragon tail and hearing him say how elusive I was as the others tried to capture my tail. Kimmie, Dragon Gym Kim was what Grand Master Goh called me and wrote on a magazine spread that I was featured in, proudly displaying it on the now green walls. Again, this was a place I knew I felt safe and at peace, regaining that self confidence I had so sadly let slip away. I have learned so much here that has shaped me, from that once shy person filled with so much self doubt that many of my closest peers here may not have even known. I’ve been pushed beyond my physical and mental breaking points but not broken, made stronger and more resilient. I’ve been humbled by former Masters Instructors to teach me that not only being a good athlete is needed one must also be mentally sharp. One must rely on not only speed, high kicks and power but also on craftiness, precision, technique, skill and calm judgment not haste. I’ve learned to set those goals reach them reassess then set new ones, in the process helping others through my experiences. My journey here at the gym and in my life outside the gym has taken me out of some places I care not go again, but having gone through that adversity has shown me how strong of a person I really am. Had I become a statistic if I had not opened those yellow pages 18 years ago? My answer to that is that through faith God gave me the strength. And the Dragon Gym and my commitment to training my mind, body and soul gave me the place to bring it all together. I have a beautiful family a caring and supportive husband routing me on through this goal of becoming the Dragon Gym’s first female 4th Dan Martial Arts Master Instructor. So my wonderful journey has led me to now stay humble to my beginnings; respect and honor myself to be that inspiration, friend, teacher, supporter and role model to all those I come in contact directly and indirectly. That to me is what this journey to becoming a Master Level Martial Arts Instructor is a full circle a cycle to give back.Kim Mukalian