Keep True Martial Arts Overlake Alive!

True Martial Arts was founded in 1982 by SBN Thomas Zoppi, after a family friend was attacked.  In an effort to restore her confidence and relieve her fears, SBN Zoppi taught her self-defense.  The school grew from that compassionate beginning. GJN David Barrett started training under SBN Zoppi in 1986 and took over the role of Chief Instructor when SBN Zoppi passed away in 2001.

From GJN David Barrett:
"True Martial Arts Overlake has been a passion for me. I have a day job that allows me to not take a paycheck from the studio. The studio is our way to help individuals learn and develop their best character while learning how to help themselves stay healthy. True Martial Arts has been a blessing to our community offering the benefits of martial arts training to help the individuals find their way for the past 38 years! We are especially important now, as we fight to provide something normal while going through these interesting times."

This school is the heart of a thriving community.  Our students learn not only martial arts, but the value of respect, fortitude and dedication. We see our students grow and achieve amazing things, beyond the broken boards, low stances and powerful kicks, our students go on to some of the best schools in the nation and become leaders in their own right using skills that they honed inside our walls. 

As a small business we knew there would be hard times, but never imagined anything as challenging as what we have faced with COVID-19. To keep our community safe and continue our mission, the school quickly transitioned to online classes along with online training videos and now small in-person classes as allowed by the current guidelines.  In hopes of surviving financially, we applied for several grants and loans and asked for rent forgiveness, but nothing so far has been successful (though we are still trying).

Unfortunately, despite all our efforts - including some instructors and staff volunteering their time - the school hasn’t brought in enough sustain the business. We need your help to continue our mission:

To help people become more physically fit, happier, more able to defend themselves, and more able to achieve their goals, no matter how lofty those goals may be.

We hope to raise $16,000 to cover rent, utilities and maintenance for the next two months.  Our goal is to raise these funds by August 1st, 2020.

Here's how you can help the school:
- Donate to this GoFundme!
- Share this link with others on your Facebook timeline, Instagram, or through email, etc. 
- Sign up for classes! We have a number of options available for training for our students and we are working on even more in the future. Ideally we will return to being able to cover all our expenses on our own.

All donations will go straight to work, keeping our mission alive and our studio thriving and serving our community. Our sincere thanks to each and every one of you for your support.

Click here for our website 
Contact us to join us for a class!

Words from a few of our students on what True Martial Arts Overlake has meant in their lives:

"True Martial Arts has been a part of my life for… actually, my entire life. It’s always been there and it’s more like an extended family to me than just a martial arts school. I’m more connected to my instructors than I’ve ever been with any of my school teachers, and I’m more in tune with my classmates than any of my friends from highschool. It’s just… me - and my family - and I can’t think of any better way to describe this wonderful place I call home." 
- Illaria W.

"TMA Overlake has been a part of my family’s life for most of 17 years. In that time, the school and the people within, (my instructors and students alike) have become my extended family. I love being a part of the TMA Overlake family."
- Chelsea W.

"I started martial arts at 5 years old. My brother had started training only a few months before and the only reason my mom enrolled me back then was because I looked cute in the uniform. Since then, I have grown from looking cute in the uniform to wearing it with pride and confidence. Back then, I didn't understand the importance of martial arts. Back then, I was an innocent, little girl who just knew the basics of the basics and would like to go to class. Now, I go to TMA about 3 to 5 times a week as both an instructor and a student. I had no idea that it would be such a huge and important part of my life. In the past nine years I have grown to be stronger, more self-confident, more responsible, and more goal-oriented. I learned to take on challenges head-on, never give up, and have an indomitable spirit. TMA is a place I can call home because it is where I can go to celebrate my accomplishments, to talk and get support, and just spend my time to stay physically fit AND mentally strong. Through all this, though, one thing is for sure: I wouldn't be who I am today without TMA."
- Apuroopa K.

"I've been a student of True Martial Arts (TMA) for 11 years, and an instructor for 6 years. Training at TMA has been an ever-present positive constant for me while growing up, due to both its teachings and its community. TMA strikes a perfect balance between respecting the traditional roots of the martial arts, emphasizing modern-day self-defense, and infusing important lessons into students' training. The school's supportive atmosphere and motivating instructors have helped me become more confident and driven, thereby allowing me to realize my true potential in every aspect of life."
- Rishi K.

"I have trained at True Martial Arts for around ten years now, and it has been a major influence in my life and a truly positive force in my development. The community at TMA is like a second family to me and has allowed me to gain some of my closest friendships. This combined with the understanding of self-defense, discipline, and other life skills provided to me by TMA makes the experience unimaginably worth pursuing."
- Cody B.

"I started training almost 10 years ago, after watching my kids from the sidelines and wishing I had had this opportunity when I was growing up. For my kids, I felt the training gave them physical and mental strength and taught them how strong they are. I believe kids gain self-esteem by actually accomplishing hard things and this school taught and supported them to do things they didn't know they were capable of, and come out knowing they can do so much. My kids have all moved on to other activities and places as they've grown up, but I've kept training and found a diverse community of people that is almost like a second home for me. Training here keeps me active and fit, focuses the mind and gives me an escape from the daily grind. Having specific goals while I'm training (need to get that next belt!) keeps me motivated, as do the other students who expect me to be in class. I love that an integral part of the method is to have control - so important for both kids and adults."
-Linnea F.

"I am a Senior Instructor at True Martial Arts and have been training and teaching at the school for 19 years. True Martial Arts is more than just a martial arts school where students arrive, learn, and leave; the school is a robust community that encourages growth at all levels. The school and the people here have seen me grow up and supported every endeavor I have challenged myself with both inside and outside our school. The instructors and my fellow students have taught me respect, self confidence, personal integrity and much more over the years.
I truly hope to see the value I have taken from True Martial arts continue to be available to members of our community after the pandemic."
-Sierra H.

  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 20 d
  • Russell Morris
    • $1,000 
    • 13 mos
  • Jo Crawford
    • $200 
    • 15 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $600 
    • 23 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $400 
    • 26 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Etta Spangler
Redmond, WA
David Barrett

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