Fighting for their Dreams

WMATCby Ashlee Scott

Washington Martial Arts Training Center (WMATC) uses intense fitness regimes and family-oriented support to help students find faith in themselves to battle obstacles.

“We definitely see a change in our students,” said Instructor Darein Washington, the assistant head instructor, owner, and manager of Washington Martial Arts Training Center (WMATC). “They have more confidence, discipline, and structure to focus on their dreams.”

WMATC was once a dream to two brothers, Errol and Noel Washington, on the island of Trinidad and Tobago. Their burning passion for karate and being role models for children led them to begin teaching classes at the Police Athletic League, or PAL, in 1980. As time went on, they created their own karate studio, which started their legacy in 1984.

After the death of Noel Washington, Errol Washington passed the torch to his son, Darein, to allow the legacy to continue on.

Today, WMATC continues to flourish with students from all ages, backgrounds, and locations.

Programs, such as boxing, cardio-karate, Zumba, karate, cross-fit, and MMA, are available to any who wish to join.

The offered programs are more than just fitness programs available to the members. They have a deeper meaning.

The instructors—Errol Washington, Darein Washington, Jaime Odegaard, and Carlos Rodriguez—make it their mission to provide a warm and comfortable environment for their students while teaching them lessons on discipline throughout the programs.

Judgment is not a factor in this karate dojo; success comes from focus, perseverance, and hard-work.

In the dojo, the instructors push their students to the limit, but never fully off the edge. They strive to build up confidence in each student to follow them in their journeys in life.

Darein Washington stated, “When you are comfortable, then you are able to perform at your best.”

That concern for personal growth is appreciated by those who train at WMATC. It’s also part of the legacy of Errol Washington.

Efrain Velez, a father of one of the students, talked about that legacy: “He truly cares about his students and brings out the best in them!”

Another member, David Goncalves, said, “Excellent, positive environment for the whole family! There’s a program that will fit your individual needs and goals!”

WMATC is more than a dojo for fitness, but a family.

Instructor Washington emphasized that WMATC is unique, because it provides a second home for individuals who are encountering challenges in their lives. Within this second home, Darein Washington continued, people can fall to their knees but can be supported and strengthened to get back up to fight harder. The dojo becomes a training ground for life’s battles.

Washington Martial Arts Training Center is located on 2003 Belmont Ave., Reading, PA 19605.
The hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.



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