We live in a fast-paced world. Children and adults alike are constantly driven to compete, to become smarter, stronger, more successful or more popular. Public image becomes paramount as we race for likes and follows. Philip Averett, Grandmaster Martin Douglas, and their team at TRU Taekwondo have a burden to help people find balance in both mind and body, and to help them develop inner strength and character through martial arts.


With their combined experience in teaching and mentoring, Philip and Grandmaster Douglas know that the first step to making a difference in someone’s life is to build a foundation of trust.

“We want to be able to connect with students and connect with children and so that we can be a part of positive change in their life,” Philip says. “To do that you have to be where they are.” Volunteers from TRU Taekwondo donate their time to Triad area schools doing everything from proctoring tests and opening milk cartons to holding special talks with students and hosting fundraisers for the school. The TRU team spends time talking to students about focus, trust, respect, and other character-building themes. “We are trying to balance using martial arts to challenge people and help them be better physically, emotionally, and mentally,” Philip says, “but the martial arts part is only a means to an end.”

Volunteering in schools is only the beginning, however. The team at TRU Taekwondo constantly seeks opportunities to deepen their roots in the community and connect with people through involvement with the Chamber of Commerce and participation in community events like the upcoming Spring Folly.


Those who choose to become students of TRU Taekwondo will find it to be a warm, accepting place where everyone is respected and treated equally. Grandmaster Douglas, a 7th Degree Black Belt with over 30 years of experience, certainly sets the bar high for martial arts, but he believes that athletic performance is pointless if a student does not also grow in their character and how they treat others.

“For us it is about changing lives,” says Grandmaster Douglas, “obviously there is kicking and punching, but we focus on the intangibles like the focus, the respect, and
the discipline.”

With hundreds of students in three different locations, the staff at TRU Taekwondo come in contact with people of all ages and walks of life. Philip and his team act out their belief that each person should be loved and supported equally. This philosophy has created an environment that fosters true personal connections. Each person who visits TRU Taekwondo can expect to be greeted with a sincere smile and a handshake from students and teachers alike.


The unique mindset of the staff at TRU Taekwondo is not the only thing that sets them apart from other athletic institutions. One of the biggest draws is the opportunity for parents and their children to train together. Gina Marks and her three children are an example of how training together at TRU Taekwondo can make an impact on a family.

“It is one of the few things you can do with your kids,” says Gina, who, along with her daughter and two sons, has earned a black belt in taekwondo through training at TRU. “You can’t play on their baseball team, you can’t play on their football team, there are so many things you can’t do with your kids. This has been really special for our family just to be able to train together.” Gina says her family’s experience training under Grandmaster Douglas has helped her kids gain confidence, make friends, and prepare for their futures.

“He just has a knack for connecting with people and bringing out the best in people,” Gina says about the impact that Grandmaster Douglas has had on her family. “It comes naturally to him to care for somebody and to be able to see past the surface stuff and help on a deeper level.”

Gina’s story is only one of many. Philip says their goal is to partner with parents to understand the specific needs for each individual child, by creating a safe, bully-free, drama-free environment. “We want to give them something bright in their day,” says Grandmaster Douglas. “We want to be connected with the student and what they are feeling. That is where the U of TRU comes in, for understanding.”

If you or a family member want to be a part of the good things happening at TRU Taekwondo, it is easy to get involved. TRU offers yearly memberships with flexible payment plans. TRU is also offering a $20 special which includes one private lesson, two group lessons, and a uniform.

Students at the Kernersville location will enjoy the new facility, which is double the size of the old one. Master Valencia, head of the Kernersville location, studied under Grandmaster Douglas for over 20 years, and brings the same values and level of excellence to this location.

TRU also offers 8 weeks of summer camps which are available to non-members, as well as birthday parties and day camps. For more information, visit or call 336.904.6415.

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