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Taylor’s Martial Arts Academy: Faith, family and Taekwondo

Suzi McKee • Updated Aug 5, 2019 at 2:52 PM

When Twana Taylor began home-schooling her son Chandler, she knew something wasn’t right. But, when Chandler became withdrawn and aggressive – completely out of character for the outgoing, compassionate youngster – she desperately began searching for help. He’d already secretly been dealing with bullies for a year at his dad’s pastorate, when at age 8, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD, and fell into a scary depression of hopelessness.

“Our sweet boy just didn’t want to be here anymore. He felt like a burden. I knew we needed help to reach him. The Lord led us to Olson’s Martial Arts Academy, where Master Glenn Olson offered a safe haven for Chandler to succeed and feel empowered. We immediately enrolled him and his younger brother, Landon.”

Scott and Twana Taylor never expected that this would also change the trajectory of their family’s future, opening the door to a successful family business. But, they had been teaching Chandler Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The promise of this verse not only saved Chandler’s life but has been fulfilled in the Taylor’s new ministry: a family-oriented atmosphere where students ages 4 to adult train their bodies, minds and character in fun and positive Taekwondo classes.

“I had no idea what God had in store for Chandler, or for the rest of us,” explained Twana, “but I knew it would be big. The devil fights relentlessly when he knows God could use you to impact a lot of people.”

With his faithful brother training by his side, Chandler began to re-awaken. Mentoring with Master Olson further helped him regain his self-confidence, and the desire to help others. “At 10 and a half, I earned my Junior Black Belt, and Master Olson asked me what was next. I told him that I wanted to be just like him, and to one day have my own school, where other kids that struggled like me would have hope and know that they’d be okay, too.”

Years later, when the Olsons decided to sell their Kingsport location, much thought went into who might take over that fledgling business. After a prayer of desperation, Chandler Taylor – by then an employee – immediately came to Master Olson’s mind. Meanwhile, the Taylors were avidly praying for answers concerning Chandler’s future, and lifelong dream. “College just wasn’t for me,” Chandler explained. “We looked at some great programs, but I knew in my heart that I was supposed to utilize what had saved my life – God’s promises, my family and Taekwondo – to help others.” When both families came together to discuss the opportunity, each recognized that God had laid His plan for their promised hope and future right out before them.

Taylor’s Martial Arts Academy was purchased Jan. 2, 2017 and is now serving over 200 students. Paying off the business loan in just two years allowed them to expand the facility from 2,200 to 4,000 square feet in April 2019. “The expansion allows us to run two full classrooms, and further develop our programs, so that we can continue pursuing and offering excellence on behalf of the entire TMAA family,” said Chandler.

The brothers – now 20 and 18 – sit side-by-side discussing their life lessons and the future of the business they now co-own with their parents. One can see the enthusiasm and passion they share. “We’re a good balance for each other,” Chandler says with a smile. “And now that we realize we don’t have to compete with one another, we’re a very strong team.”

“This is absolutely the best choice our family has ever made,” Landon says with confidence. “We all work together to offer a fun place where people can come and forget about their problems for a little while, as they hone their Taekwondo skills and strengthen their minds, in a safe, supportive environment.”

On Aug. 5, Taylor’s Martial Arts Academy will begin accepting enrollment for fall classes. With their dad and younger siblings –Makenna and Hayden – also assisting in classes, the Taylor family invites the public to come and experience wholesome classes that improve self-confidence, focus, respect and stress. You, too, can be better than you ever thought you could be! For more information, visit their website at www.taylorsmartialarts.com, their Facebook Page at Taylors Martial Arts Academy, or phone (423) 392-0584.

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