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Farmington Martial Arts Builds on Core Values

Founded in 1992, the Farmington business has spent more than 20 years training area students, in more ways than one.

For Jeff and Connie Duncan, teaching martial arts is about more than just honing self-defense skills. 

The owners of Farmington Martial Arts want to instill in their students the kinds of values they've taught their own children, Jeff Duncan said. 

Located in a shopping center at 10 Mile and Orchard Lake Road in Farmington, the business celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012, although the Duncans didn't begin working at it full-time until 1993. As a young man, Jeff had studied martial arts with a studio that fit the hard-hitting "Cobra Kai" dojo image set forward in The Karate Kid, a popular movie released in 1984. 

"I wanted to change that image. I wanted to teach martial arts the way I raised my children," he said. 

The Duncans created a leadership team of 12 people, and everyone gets a vote on anything that will be changed or added. Farmington Martial Arts instructors stress that fighting is not a game.

"We focus solely on self-defense," Jeff said. "We're a non-competitive school, although we have students who compete. Our goal is, no matter who you are, you will be more capable and able to defend yourself." 

The school teaches students core values like focus, teamwork and self-discipline, the same kind of values that parents want their children to have. 

"Those things are going to do so much more for them than kicks or punches," Jeff said. 

Farmington Martial Arts also embraces the principle of giving back to the community that Jeff calls "an amazing place to own a business". The Duncans have introduced thousands of kids to martial arts through after-school classes. They also work with the Farmington/Farmington Hills Emergency Preparedness Commission on a self-defense training event for women that raises funds for HAVEN, which serves families experiencing domestic violence. 

Instruction at Farmington Martial Arts is open to students of all ages; the school's oldest is a 73-year-old woman who took up martial arts at age 70. She is now a black belt, Jeff said. 

Classes are offered Monday through Saturday. Farmington Martial Arts currently employs 35 instructors who work with more than 200 students. Learn more at fmami.com.

Anna Cassar February 25, 2013 at 01:46 PM
The Duncan's and the staff at FMA are such amazing people. They truly care for all the students and the community. We are blessed to know them. FMA is a top rate school and I highly recommend this school to anyone looking for a great experience, not only to strengthen your physical health goals but mental health too. It's a great place to do something fun as a family. Anna Cassar
cynthia reynolds February 25, 2013 at 06:19 PM
I have enrolled my children in programs with FMA since they were in elementary school (Woodcreek after school program) and more recently last year. They are both in high school now and chose not to continue, but it was not for lack of encouragement from the Duncan's. It's nice to find programs that create a diverse, accepting community vibe, and treat your child like their own. I felt comfortable leaving my child with them, and I would highly recommend them.
Michael Sweeney February 26, 2013 at 01:32 AM
Farmington Martial Arts has classes for Adults and Children. All the classes are open to the public to come, watch and decide for themselves if this martial arts training is for them and/or their familty. Come on down, and check it out.
Julie Schryer February 28, 2013 at 09:54 PM
My son has been going to this place for about 5 years and I couldn't be happier! The Duncans are amazing people who truly care about all of their students. Highly recommend it!

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