Head Instructor Allison Morrow has been training in martial arts for over a decade and currently holds her black belts in multiple martial arts styles, from Grand Masters and World Champions throughout the world. Her lifetime dedication to the martial arts started in her youth and has taken her across the country mentoring, competing, and training. Her favorite work is finding and sculpting future leaders in martial arts and supporting them as they raise the bar and achieve extraordinary things. She enjoys working at her home base in Bethesda, Maryland at GAMMA Academy to create a positive community of staff, families and learners and is looking forward to more years of success.
Ms. Morrow has personal experience with what martial arts can do to bring you to the next level. She balanced a dedicated martial arts training schedule while working through the #1 High School in the Nation, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, and continued with her passion for martial arts to manage martial arts schools on the East Coast throughout her college education. Her studies in Psychology and Education pair well with her focus on age- and level- appropriate curriculum development, and she says she is most interested in creating “life-long learners” who find the martial arts at any time in their lives.
Under her tutelage, her students have gone on to be local, regional, and national champions in forms, fighting, and weapons. She has received a third degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do from 7-time World Champion Jeff Smith, and a third degree Black Belt in American Karate with martial arts Grandmaster Stephen Oliver. Her favorite training is in Kicking with Tae Kwon Do, which she find a versatile way to develop a high-level skill. She also enjoys the weapons training that comes with American Karate, and excels most at bo staff (long staff), nunchaku, and sword. Ms. Morrow really enjoys training and bringing these martial arts skills to her students. She also spends time cross-training in Muay Thai, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, WTF-Style Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Shootfighting, and more. She says the connections and differences between these styles and others accent her understanding of how martial arts can be applied, and that passing that knowledge on to future martial artists is imperative.
Throughout her career in the martial arts, she has found two real loves. One, in training brand-new white belts who come in to experience martial arts for the first time. “It’s all so exciting to them,” she says “[Their excitement] just rekindles my love for the martial arts, it’s like you’re seeing it for the first time yourself.” The other is in students who are just on the precipice of a major goal. “Our program is set up that each year or so, you have a major milestone to pass; if that means you move up a program by age, or by rank, or there is a new part of training for you. This helps keep training interesting for the long-term, but it also makes for some milestones that are very exciting. I love being a part of when a 4-year old masters our Tiny Tigers program, and it all comes together when a student is finally ready for their Black Belt testing. It’s just like graduating college, but you haven’t just been someone’s teacher for a year, you’ve known them for seven-, eight-, nine years. That’s where the real excitement comes in.”
Ms. Morrow is excited to meet you and your family, and would love to give you a chance to see if the martial arts can make as big of an impact on your family’s life as it has on hers and her current and former students. She invites you to take a part in our free trials, or to check out how a more structured martial arts program can make a difference in you or your child’s life over the long term. “Martial arts, especially the way it is taught at GAMMA Academy, is not a life-changer. It’s a life-decider. It gives you a proactive, positive life direction. It did for me, and it has for each and every person I have taught. I don’t care who you are, there is always something to be gained. I would personally invite anyone to come in, and I would guarantee they will see a major change for the better in their life, almost immediately.”