HOUSTON – A few minutes with Tommy Skelton and you realize there is more to this business than martial arts, but it takes a while to figure it out.
Sho Kon Ryu is the style and there are many throws, strikes and moves found in traditional martial arts. It’s a style developed by Skelton over a lifetime in the U.S. Marine Corp and taught at one time as the martial arts training of record for special units in the military.
“It’s more a close combat style that brings together a lot of different disciplines,” said Skelton. “Myself, an Army buddy of mine and fellow ’employed’ by the Department of Defense developed it years ago. They’ve gone on to other things. I’ve sort of kept this.”
And while many martial arts have their roots in Eastern religion, Skelton is quick to say this is different.
Sho Kon Ryu is a Mississippi Adonai Sports Ministry and as such, it is a faith-based organization dedicated to the promotion of the teaching of Jesus Christ and Christian fellowship through sports.
“Our program embraces four core values: God, Country, Self, Family,” said Skelton. “The lessons learned through martial arts helps to develop discipline, focus, self-esteem, respect, inner strength and self control.”
Skelton said he specializes in children with behavioral problems. He also pointed out no one is ever too young or too old to be his student.
Skelton is a 10th Dan. The highest ranking in Japanese, Chinese and Korean martial arts.
“We also accept people from other levels or styles and can incorporate them into our program,” said Skelton. “I am also a certified self defense teacher and urge women to consider us.”
Sho Kon Ryu is a non-profit program that does not charge a fee for attendance, but does count on donations to keep the doors open.
“Our students do fundraisers for equipment and to acquire funds for three tournament field trips,” said Skelton. “Instructors and support staff are all volunteers and receive no wages or salary.”
Skelton said Sho Kon Ryu gladly accepts walk-ins on Saturday and urges people to drop in and talk.
“I started this 28 years ago and have been blessed,” said Skelton. “We make a difference in people’s lives.”
Sho Kon Ryu Martial Arts Academy
Owners: Tommy and Nancy Skelton.
Location: 104 West Hamilton Street, Houston
Phone: (662) 456-7408
Hours: 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tue. & Thu., 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday
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