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Meet Lizbeth Ahn and Sean Berry of Pride Martial Arts in Chula Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lizbeth Ahn and Sean Berry.

Lizbeth and Sean, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Lizbeth: I started doing Taekwondo when I was 6 at my Korean Church. From there I practiced on and off while doing gymnastics, cheerleading and hurdles. Being 100% Korean, it was important to do taekwondo as part of my culture, but more importantly to learn to be strong and disciplined.

After college, I practiced different forms of martial arts. When my children were young, I put them in Taekwondo because I wanted my boys to be gentlemen and have the integrity and honor that martial arts bring out. Of course, I wanted to make sure they knew how to take care of themselves. When my boys started training, the instructor asked me to take class. That is when I got back into the martial arts and started competing and traveling all over the United States.

After winning multiple state and world championship titles, that is when I wanted to open my own martial arts school and do it better. I wanted to make sure that the life skill was integrated with the physical training. This is when I met my current husband and we shared the same vision.

Master Sean Berry has been practicing martial arts all his life, for over 30+ years.

At a very early age it was evident that he was a gifted martial artist as he practiced over 6 hours a day and was one of the youngest to achieve his black belt.

Master Berry was one of the original members on the ATA World Demonstration team. He was chosen to represent the United States Taekwondo Team and traveled to North Korea. For the past 25 years he has been ranked top 10 in the world.

Today, Master Sean Berry teaches instructors from all over the world for the American Taekwondo Association. Pride Martial Arts is a flagship school for the ATA and is ranked a Top Ten school in the nation. Pride Martial Arts just won the 2017 Best Martial Arts by the SD AList City voters.

Pride Martial Arts is a place with heart!! Aside from the fact that we teach at the highest level, with Master Sean Berry’s knowledge and talent and Mrs. Ahn’s expertise in competition with over 11 World Titles. We are so fortunate to be surrounded by a team that truly understand the magic of martial arts and how it can change people, families and communities. We have personally changed and witnessed so many amazing transformations for children and their families. We are fortunate that we get to do what we do every day and we love what we do.

Has it been a smooth road?
When Master Berry and I wanted to open our own school, it was not an easy start. We had over 13 locations denied by our association and the school that was in our region.

When we first opened in Chula Vista, no on heard of the ATA. We worked so hard to get into schools and to promote our martial arts. We would work 15-17 hours a day and never saw our kids. We finally had to sell our house in Del Mar and uproot our children as we moved all the way south to Chula Vista so we could be with our children.

Opening and running a business, is not easy by any means, especially the type of business we have. It is more than a business it is a part of our life of who we are. We are never off work, we are always there 24/7 for our families and our students.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Pride Martial Arts – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Pride Martial Arts is the premier martial arts academy in San Diego. We are part of the world’s largest martial arts organization, the ATA (American Taekwondo Association.)

Our academy teaches the highest level of martial arts including traditional taekwondo and weapons training.

We are certified in Pro-Tech and trained in all weapons. We are an official HYPER Pro-training school. Hyper is High Intensity Performance Martial Arts, this includes Hyper Trick School (acrobatics) and Hyper Fight School (which is more of a bully prevention program and self-defense for children and teens.) In addition, we offer classes for adults which includes the martial arts and also reality self-defense courses.

We have a TASMA license which is a transported afterschool martial arts program where we pick up kids from local schools and they come back to our academy for training. We offer martial arts after school programs in collaboration with community pillars and elementary schools.

We are proud partners with Chula Vista Elementary School District as partners in education. We offer educational programs and assemblies that empower our children and communities.

Our bully prevention specialists are certified in the Owelus Bully Prevention System. We also work with AmberAlert.com to educate children on Child Safety and reducing Child abduction through education.

Although we work closely with schools to educate children, every quarter we do free Bully Prevention Classes and Women’s Self Defense Seminars for the community. Our goal is to be the leaders in Safety and we have worked hard to be the community leaders.

We are most proud of the fine young gentleman and strong young ladies that go through our program and become great black belt leaders. We have amazing kids that truly are remarkable!

Even at such an early age, they are learning to be so respectful, humble and to help others.

We also have a Tigress Club (for girls) and a Saber Tooth club (for boys) We created these mentoring clubs for the girls and the boys of Pride. This is where the older girls and older boys, usually black belts and meet with the younger kids and they do fun projects and training together. The purpose of this club is to foster friendships and to go over important girl and boy topics and issues they are facing. It is important for kids to have a sense of belonging and all the kids at Pride belong to the team!!

Aside from the World Class training that we offer with only Nationally Certified Instructors and the fact that we are the only licensed and accredited martial arts academy in Chula Vista, we do everything with heart and the children’s best interest. We have the most amazing community.

Our academy is more than just a place to train, it is a sense of belonging. Almost every weekend, there is something fun going on at the school that families can participate in. It’s important that our students can make friends that share the same values such as courtesy, respect, integrity, perseverance, honor, and a positive attitude.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
The best thing about San Diego would be the amazing weather and the incredible culture. San Diego is a laid-back city that has a cool vibe that makes you feel welcome.

The only thing that is frustrating is the traffic, although traffic happens in every major city.

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Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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