Trust, Respect, Understanding

By Bruce Frankel

In our competitive complex world, seeking a healthy balance in our everyday life is more important than ever. Especially for our children who are growing up and discovering their own individuality.
Unlike other traditional athletic sports, martial arts has grown in popularity due to its training that strengthens both mind and body. It encompasses not just the physical aspect of the sport, but mental and emotional lessons as well.
We are fortunate in Kernersville to have a martial arts school that significantly stands out above the rest – TRU Taekwondo Center located on Union Cross.
Established in April 2012 by co-owners Philip Averett and Grand Master Martin Douglas, TRU Taekwondo was founded on the three pillars of their shared philosophy that all instruction be based on trust, respect, and understanding. Their mission is not only to teach students how to stay safe, but to instill in them a leadership mindset built on strengthening self-esteem.
“We are about more than just teaching kicking and punching,” said Co-owner Grand Master Douglas. “Our instructors are all Taekwondo Masters who seek to mentor, encourage, and stress accountability. We all live our lives as we teach. Philip and I meet with our teachers and our leadership team once a week. We have a high level of expectation from an instruction standpoint. We stress trust, respect, and understanding in all aspects of our lives and our students’ lives. We want our students to be more thoughtful and aware of their surroundings.”
TRU Taekwondo has built their solid reputation and success teaching these traits to their students as well as discipline, patience, focus, restraint, and a healthy lifestyle. However, it is the personal connection to each student that earns them the highest accolades.
“The most important thing for me is that all our Masters have a good teacher’s mentality where we nurture and push from a good place,” Grand Master Douglas explained, “The understanding is the biggest point where we focus on connecting to the needs of the individual student. Not every child is born athletic, not everyone learns the same way. If a child is a good person, has a good heart, and is respectful – shouldn’t they be recognized as well?”
Keep in mind that Grand Master Martin Douglas has over 30 years of experience, is a Kukkiwon Certified 7th Degree Black Belt and six time North Carolina State Sparring Champion. And all locations are led by a Master 4th degree black belt certified by the 
World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
Taekwondo is one of the few activities that a whole family can do together, and one of the few that people can do for a lifetime. Their instructors are highly trained and love to help people of all ages. Taekwondo is for everyone, regardless of age or body type, and it teaches self-defense as well as character and integrity. By teaching focus, confidence and self-control, their instructors strive to help their students resolve conflicts before they escalate into physical violence. They teach effective self-defense techniques that can be used only when a physical situation is unavoidable.

The earlier one begins to take classes, the sooner the student starts to build good habits. Even students as young as 4 years old can benefit from TRU Taekwondo’s Super Kid classes which are designed and taught so that children can learn at their own pace. Classes help develop the child’s present capabilities and bring out their hidden potential. The Masters are committed to helping each and every student improve. Many parents, doctors, teachers, and psychologists find that Taekwondo improves children’s academic progress such as attention span, listening skills, and cooperative learning that help them in the academic classroom.
TRU Taekwondo offers an environment that allows the whole family to train together at the same time. It is a great way to block out valuable and rewarding family time and have fun together. The school provides family member discounts as well. As Grand Master Douglas commented, “It is wonderful to see family members of different ages step on the floor together for the same class and share this positive yet challenging martial arts and fitness environment.”
“Grand Master Douglas and I are intentional about building and maintaining a team that embraces the same values, including serving not only our students but our community as well,” said Philip.

You appreciate how serious this commitment is when you realize that they have served over 50 local schools with special fundraising programs that not only help teach the children focus, structure and confidence, but also do it at their own expense while helping raise as much as several thousand dollars per school. As Allison Coble, Assistant Principal of Cash Elementary School commented, “Over 80 students participated in our first after school program with TRU Taekwondo. The staff at TRU and the Masters have been professional, friendly, and gone above and beyond to make the program a success. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience with TRU and look forward to working together in the future.”

One of the lead instructors at the Union Cross location is Master Salvador Valencia III who began training under Grand Master Martin Douglas when he was in kindergarten. “Yes sir, this has been a great experience as I have lived through it.” Master Valencia proudly shares, “From Master Douglas I have learned that the extra touch of listening and respect can get you far. I enjoy helping kids with little things that can make a big difference. Just as Master Douglas taught me, ‘always try to find a way to help people around you.”
Both Philip and Grand Master Douglas encourage those interested to stop by any one of their three locations, watch a class, and learn more. While you are meeting with an instructor for the first time, you cannot help but notice how the school provides a clean and safe environment. You can also inquire about their other programs including, summer and day camps, birthday parties, and special events.
Currently, they are offering a trial class special of $20 which includes one private class followed by two group classes and even a uniform is included in the price. You can visit their website at or call 336.904.6415 to learn more.

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