Troy punching

UMA Receives Award from Volunteer Center of Whatcom County

The Volunteer Center of Whatcom County recently presented me with their “Volunteers with Heart” award.
August 2014 marks the 11th year anniversary of my non-profit, volunteer work with the Max Higbee Recreation Center.volunteers-with-heart-award-logo

The following photos are of me teaching my adaptive martial arts program for developmentally disabled adults in Whatcom County.
(Photos courtesy of Malinda Warder of WarderPhoto)

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The non-profit organization was founded in honor of Western Washington University alum Max Higbee, who began his career at WWU in 1962 as an associate professor of education and eventually served as head of the special education program, later retiring in 1987.

  • Rob Eis
    Unbridled Martial Arts

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Fact: Of the 34% of Washington State residents who do volunteer work their contributions amount to 200 million hours spent each year, valued at almost $5 billion in our state economy. (citation)

Testimonial

I found Unbridled Martial Arts (UMA) back in 2008. I had looked at some schools online but right away noticed the high price tag. Not only did the schools want high monthly tuition, they also wanted me to sign an annual contract and buy special uniforms. I was discouraged since I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford all that and also I didn’t know how long I’d be staying in Bellingham. Just as I was losing hope of learning MMA, I came across UMA’s website.
I was surprised to see that there was no annual contract to sign nor were there any other hidden fees. I could join the school on month-to-month basis and train three nights a week. If I wanted to stop training, I was able to do so without getting penalized, unlike other schools and gyms that bind you with their annual contract. With UMA’s affordable and reasonable enrollment structure, I must admit I was skeptical of the quality of classes offered but I decided to take a chance.
There were people of all skill levels and all shapes and sizes attending the class. Rob was very organized with his lesson plan. He explained and demonstrated things carefully at a pace that was very easy to follow even for the beginners. When students paired up to work on drills, Rob went around the room giving pointers and assistance where needed.
I am happy that I discovered Unbridled Martial Arts seven years ago. Rob is still expanding the workouts in new and fun ways. UMA is such a comfortable atmosphere where I never feel intimidated by others or out of place. At UMA, students help each other to succeed and progress together instead of beating each other to get ahead of your classmates.
We all take turns cleaning the mats after class instead of expecting our teacher or a janitor to clean them. When I notice my classmates’ progress and my own improvement in class, I’m reminded that when you invest in yourself, your friends, and in the school, everybody gets better. I feel more confident in myself knowing that I have some self-defense knowledge and skills. I know this is a journey that will never end but I sure am glad that I got my start at UMA.

~ Teela Taki, Shipping and Receiving staff at REI

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