Fighting to help families stay together
New taekwondo studio offers classes for all ages

By Eric Oliver - Enterprise Staff

July 2, 2015

From left, back: Franco Militello, Chief Instructor Laura Barczak, Cole Doyle, front, Briana Doyle and Mason Blazek practicing blocking at Family Tae Kwon Do, 125 N. Fowler St. 
Eric Oliver/Enterprise Staff

OCONOMOWOC — “We want everybody to be black belts in life.”

Chief instructor Laura Barczak said that’s the ultimate goal of the newly opened Family Tae Kwon Do, 125 N. Fowler St.

Offering classes for adults, children and families FTKD is trying to expand the realm of fitness to include everybody.

“We have kids classes and we work with kids 4 and up,” Barczak said. “We have just the kids classes and then we have family classes where the whole family can come together, which is really cool because their aren’t a lot of activities you can do as a family together.”

Barczak leads every class. She started tae kwon do when she was younger and advanced to the rank of black belt. She recently returned to the martial art and trained under Master Nick Elliot at the Delafield school. After a few months, she was presented with the opportunity to run her own center.

Briana Doyle practices her front kick at Family Tae Kwon Do, 125 N. Fowler St. 
Eric Oliver/Enterprise Staff

“I decided to leave my career as a personal trainer and a manager at another fitness center and decided to do this,” Barczak said. “Doing taekwondo for your job is kind of cool.”

In her time as the chief instructor, Barczak said the most rewarding part of her job is watching how tae kwon do can transform somebody. She said some kids come into the center quiet and incredibly shy, but once they start counting their punches they are yelling and taking over the room.

“That’s really the most rewarding part of the job,” Barczak said.

Barczak said FTKD differs from other exercise options because it teaches self-defense.

The center is also playing a big part in the community. Barczak said whenever there is an opportunity to reach out into the community, she takes it.

Overall, Barczak urged anyone interested in martial arts to come to a class and try it. Not only will it be a good workout, it also teaches necessary life skills.

“We want everyone to do the best they can in everything, not only in taekwon o, but also in life,” Barczak said.