White Hall Martial Arts

White Hall Martial Arts


Halloween party
Gwendolyn L. Atkins
Elishia Brown
Thank you to Sensei Jackson, all the instructors, and all who worked behind the scenes at this year's karate camp. Once again, my kids came home tired, happy, with new friends, having learned something new, and inspired to practice more and strive toward the next level. What a wonderful group to be a part of. You all have my deepest respect and admiration.

GoJu Karate and Judo

Operating as usual

[05/29/21]   Our public page (this one) has been a little quiet for a while. However, our private page stays busy. That's where we share events, notices, a little motivational/inspirational items and the occasional training tips. That page is restricted to current and former students and their families, and our "extended martial arts families" from across the country. To answer a few common public questions:

Yes, we're open.
No, we cannot conduct private classes at this time.

Due to Covid, our class schedule has altered to 3 days a week. (Three days a week is more than enough to accomplish your goals unless you're an aspiring U.S. Ranger, Marine Recon, or SEAL. ;) )

We begin accepting students at age 6 unless the child is a referral from a current or former adult student.
There are two Junior classes each training day and a single class for teens and adults.

No, we cannot "teach" your child discipline. We can demonstrate discipline for him or her and insist on it in class and hope that it carries forward into daily life. We can only provide positive reinforcement for what your child is hopefully learning at home.

We refuse to train future bullies. There enough of those in the world and I will NOT contribute to training another one.

There are different ways to deal with aggression. Fighting should be a last resort, not a first choice. However, we will NOT ever tell you or your child to be a punching bag for a bully. if we are forced to defend against a physical attack, we will fight like our hair is on fire.

The world can be a dangerous place, but not everyone is a "bad guy." In fact, there's more good in this world than bad. It just takes some vigilance and discernment to tell the difference.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. However, more often than not, bad things happen because of poor decisions we, ourselves, make. Sometimes, those poor decisions are just made based on a lack of understanding. Other times, those bad decisions are made from deliberate, conscious intentions. We want our students to learn to make the best possible decisions based the best possible information and avoid those deliberate acts that bring about bad consequences.

A legitimate Martial Art has always been about far more than just kicking, punching, chocking and throwing.

[03/16/21]   We've been blessed this past year without a single Covid case connected to our programs. Given our usual numbers, that's fairly remarkable. The White Hall, Star City and Sheridan programs are going strong now and that's largely due to the efforts of our staff black belts Marc Stratton, Richard Bailey, Jordan Ferris and Arcrel Lee. Our good fortune is also a reflection of the diligence and safety practices of our students and their families. Thank you one and all!

[11/27/20]   It's the 27th of November. An overcast day with some light showers in the area and a breezy 49 degrees. I'm sitting at the home office desk, guzzling the first cup of coffee of the day and trying to find the energy to move some equipment over to the new Sheridan dojo. As I'm scrolling through the posts of various Facebook friends, network news in on in the TV in the den.

I hear noting but bad news from all the Talking Heads. Covid numbers are still climbing, the annual flu bug is slowly making it's way through the state and another 770,000 people nationwide have claimed/filed for unemployment this past week. The political scene is still unstable and calls to emergency rooms across the country are skyrocketing due to emotional stress.

And in the midst of all this, I have a single prevailing thought: Focus on what I can control...one step at a time, one day at a time, while always keeping my sights on a better tomorrow.

Today, despite the apparent national and global turmoil, I'm extremely grateful for a myriad of reasons. I've been given blessings that I can't possibly have "earned" or deserve. And, as life would have it, I've had experienced some losses that defy any logical or reasonable explanation. As the old worn out cliche' goes, "It is what it is." It's just a part of living on this swirling ball of hydrogen. The good and the bad are all part and parcel of the same question...."What will I do today?" The answer today is the same as the answer I had yesterday...I'll do the best I can with what I have. "

From my immediate, extended and martial arts families to you and yours, I sincerely hope this holiday season finds you well, safe and happy. I know that's a tall order for some. Just do the best you can with what you have and be grateful for any opportunity that comes your way,

Btw...the second thought that hit me while I was typing that tome is that there IS a God and I'm not Him. Worrying about things above my pay-grade is His job, not mine. After all, I've got enough to focus on with the things I CAN control. 😉

[06/07/20]   VERY EXCITED!

WHMA will sponsor a new Brazilian Jiujitsu (BJJ) program beginning June 9th at 7pm at the White Hall school (200 Frankie Lane in White Hall .

Myles Jolly will conduct a one hour class (to start) at the end of our regular Goju Karate classes. We may integrate Judo at some point to compliment the BJJ program but that will be Mr. Jolly's call.

The BJJ class is not a part of our Goju program curriculum and will have a separate user fee of $40 per month.WHMA will collect dues for the program, but Mr. Jolly is the principle BJJ instructor and will establish rules and protocol pertaining to the BJJ training. Ages 6-106 welcome to attend.

Applications for the BJJ program will be available the afternoon of June 9th.

Mr. Jolly is a long-time member of our WHMA family and is also an active competitor in BJJ competitions. (and wins far more often than he loses)

[04/22/20]   IMPORTANT FYI-
Below, you'll find the Arkansas Phase One Plan for business re-openings. You'll notice that there are two conflicting points that apply to WHMA/SCMA.

GYMS are allowed to open. We are technically considered a GYM. GYMS may be open provided they maintain reasonable social distancing. For us, that would mean no partner drills, no grappling, and no sparring.

Public schools and "ORGANIZED YOUTH ACTIVITIES" are prohibited. I needed some clarification so I called the State Health Department. (again). "Organized youth activities" are defined as Spectator Sports i.e. football, basketball, baseball, and soccer and any other activity that has large number of spectators in the stands, AND which requires youth to have close physical contact.

It's relatively easy for us to follow the GYM guidelines. But there are still some serious gray areas regarding the ORGANIZED YOUTH ACTIVITIES. The poor gentleman I spoke with at the Health Department sounded like he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

The bottom line is that we will continue to follow our current course for safety reasons. We will continue to hold private sessions for individuals or immediate families for at least the next couple of weeks. We will reevaluate class schedules on May 14. If the virus curve begins a downward path by then, we will re-open but with some very special sanitation protocols.

Thanks for your patience.

[12/11/19]   Last week, I tasked four kids from our Leadership group to design two classes. From warm-ups to the final bow, they were to schedule every minute.. The group consisted of ages 10 (Gabe), 12 (Jacob), 13 (Iona), and 14 (Rayne). They had no help from the adult instructors and were given approximately 15 mins to finish the schedule.

The results were only remarkable if you didn't know the kids. Knowing them as I do, even I was a little surprised. As a group, they choose drills and activities that ranged from moderately difficult to down-right physically exhausting. They did take into consideration the younger students and made sure those kids had drills that challenged them, but were well within their abilities.

I always find something in every class that makes me proud to have these kids as students. But that particular day was exceptionally rewarding.

[11/29/19]   We at White Hall MA and Star City MA wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend!

[11/12/19]   The2019 Natural State Martial Arts Classic is in the books. ProMac, North American Sport Karate Association, and American Karate Association rated the event Class 1. (This means that top competitors from across the nation were there chasing points for the year-end championships.) Our black belts did a great job. Cam Morgan is a regular on the sport karate circuit and turned in his usual excellent performance. He took a 2nd and third place in kata and weapons. Jordan Ferris took 2nd in kata, weapons, and sparring. Richard Bailey took 1st in all three of his events. Barron Mitchell placed 1st in kata and 2nd in weapons. Clarence Fells took 1st in kata, weapons and sparring. Ediie Whitman took 1st in kata,, weapons and sparring. Hunter Roberson too 1st in kata, weapons, flag, and sparring. Gabe Roberson took 1st in kata, second in weapons, 2nd in flag and tied for 1st in Breaking. I came in a distant 2nd in kata. Much thanks to all our people. It was the first time most of us had ever competed under the ProMac rules and it was an excellent experience. We all learned a lot and now we'll get ready for the next tournament-- The Barnhill Invitational next March.


Some recent dojo photos...(By the way, "dojo" simply means "training hall.") The first pic is of Purple belt Barron Mitchell as he explains a hand strike to Mia. (I suppose you can tell I was pretty pleased with his explanation ;) ) The second pic is of Arcrel Lee as she works on her side kick technique. As a rule, we don't encourage aerial techniques in self defense, but sometimes, when you've thrown everything but the proverbial kitchen sink at the "bad guy" and he's still standing, you have to throw the sink at him, too. The rest of the pics were taken during junior classes during warm-up drills. The adult brown belts in the third pic are Rev. Jordan Ferris, (Central Baptist Church, PB) and Prof. Richard Bailey (music director at UAPB)

[09/10/19]   Mrs. Barb Stratton, wife of senior instructor Marc Stratton, is battling a serious infection related to a knee replacement. if you are so inclined, prayers are very much appreciated at this time. Thank you in advance.

[08/13/19]   I'm walking through Walmart yesterday. Back-to-school shoppers in almost every aisle. I was wearing my "Stop the Violence" t-shirt. It wasn't an intentional statement aimed at recent incidents at Walmart. (The t-shirt was designed and distributed by a local PB business, Uptown Salon & Boutique.)

It wasn't intended to draw attention to violent crime in our area, either. We already have enough of that kind of attention. Now it's time to draft and implement solutions.

As per usual, I run into a dozen students or their family members. A couple of them looked at my shirt and asked, :Who are you and what have you done with Liam Jackson?"

It was a joking reference to my position that violence or the potential for violence comes in several different flavors and, arguably, that potential can be found within almost every human being on this planet.

First and foremost, violence is a tool. A means to achieve an end. Violence can be used by a "good guy" to end a threat to life and limb of an innocent/defenseless person. It can be used by a "bad guy" to deprive that same innocent/defenseless person of their goods or their lives.

Most "good guys" don't particularly enjoy engaging in violence. They understand that even when we win, we lose. Every act of violence takes with it a portion of our humanity and our collective innocence. You may not think it can impact you, and maybe, just maybe, it won't. But I assure you, that maybe is a long shot, and it will definitely affect those around you.

Most 'bad guys" don't care. An act of violence can be a form of self-gratification. It can be a quick route to infamy, wealth, or status. It's a tool of convenience in many cases. Like that screw driver on the electrician's tool belt, it's just another handy asset.

And, in some very few cases, it's a manifestation of their psychological makeup. The bad guys in that small group are just....mean. There may be a catalyst that resulted in that manifestation, but in the very few "mean" people I've ever met, that causation wasn't evident in any shape, form, or fashion.

And in other cases, it's an expression of pure unabated anger, resentment and frustration. It's like the two year old who throws a tantrum. A lack of social skills, no experience in problem-solving. No tutor, no mentor. In some cases the adult version of that tantrum carries traumatic or even lethal consequences.

I'm not excusing violent behavior exhibited by that last group. I'm just saying i get it. I understand how "hard-wiring" develops within those who have no steering mechanism. I can end the threat they pose with a clear conscience. But I might lose some sleep over the notion of a wasted life. A life that might have turned out very, very differently under other circumstances.

If any of the groups can be affected by a "Stop the Violence" attitude, it's the latter. That group has a chance. But it can't happen without help. So, yeah, I'll continue to wear the shirt. And I'll look for ways to impact that latter group.

[08/11/19]   The 2019-2020 school year begins in a few days. Most of the kids are moaning. Most of the parents are cheering.

At White Hall Martial Arts,we're preparing for the annual flood of students. This generally occurs between mid-August and runs through early September. In past years we've had to stop accepting new students in mid-September. We resume accepting students after numbers stabilize and we're sure we can maintain a healthy student-instructor ratio.

We do reserve spots based on a first come-first served basis, Feel free to contact us via private message if you have any additional questions. Thank you!


Karate Camp Photos--

[07/22/19]   Karate Camp 2019 is in the books and planning for KC 2020 is already in the planning stages. As per usual, the Great Water Balloon War was a major high point, with 3,500 balloons (along with 12 Max cans of Silly string, three wading pools, and a pair of defensive folding chairs thrown in for good measure.)

1,100 Ice pops, 24 gallons of Gatorade, 22 gallons of tea, 4lbs of "camp coffee...you know, the kind that blisters paint off the walls) 15 gallons of Kool-Aid later and untold gallons of water, (and 4,000+ trips to the bathroom, mostly well after midnight)

As is always the case with these events, our volunteers made it happen. These adults and teen camp counselors donate time, energy, and money to support the camp activities. Without them, there's no way we could conduct a camp. They ask for nothing in return and give so much, it's extremely humbling.

Jamie Yowell, James Yowell Sr, ( Sgt. Majors in charge of basic training) Jamie Yowell also served as our Balloon War combat correspondent, Steve Young (Jack of all trades), Joanne Davenport Wilkinson (Camp Mom and chef who battled through a serious family catastrophe to be here) , Angela Young, Paula Vanlandingham Ross (dorm mom and guest instructor) . Bert Edens (Talent Show Master of ceremony and guest instructor) , Lori Basiewicz (another Jack of all trades and guest instructor) and her mom, Bertie who held down the kitchen for us. Lori and Bertie make thetrip down from Illinois every camp to help out and participate.), Don Nixon (guest instructor), Joshua Dakota Brunson, LaMarcus J. Jones and Ashley Jones (who designed our camp shirts) Rev. Jordan Ferris (who opened camp for us in prayer.) Drake Wilkinson, (another Jack of all trades)The Back Forty Band (with HarleyandPamela Herron) and last but not certainly least, Marc (of Barbara N Marc Stratton) without whom I wouldn't have survived past day 1.

In addition, we were assisted in a major way by a small army of teen Camp Counselors. Presley (James Storey) Storey) Kali Ricketts, Wesley Brown, Barron Mitchell (Lisa Barron Morris) Emily Xiong and sisters Charis and Sarah, Matthew Thayer, Dakota Yeager (Liska Yeager) and Daniel Moija.

These young people were all over the place helping the younger campers, assisting with classes, filling massive numbers of water balloons, working the swimming pool, etc
And at the end of each day, several of them could be heard to say, "A good day. Nobody died!" Pictures to follow.

(add: I'm sure I'll be adding additional "thank yous" before the day is over. At the moment, I'm outta' gas.) Pictures to follow.


Some pics from past classes. Many of these "kids" have grown up and moved on to success in their adult lives. A lot of these kids have moved out of the area and I sledom get to visit with them, but they have a way of showing up at the dojo on occasion. Maurice is now a Sgt. in the Marine Corps. Joe Roberts is a rodeo bronc rider, Aaron has graduated and going to cosmotology school, Hallie is enrolled at Central Arkansas University. Ian is a Coast Guard aircraft mechanic. Jacob is now an RN at JRMC. Kali is entering high school, and pursuing Microbiology studies at the state Math and Sciences. Noah is a student at Arkansas Tech. Sam (Gabe Samuels, son of Carrington Samuels is soon to graduate college and enter the U.S. Army as an Airborne officer. (Carrington, pictured in the "breaking" photo is a retired U.S. Army Ranger.) Dalton just graduated high school and is attending SEARK to study Criminal Justice. The list goes on and on. So very proud and humbled to have had these people in our program and in my life.




200 Frankie Ln
White Hall, AR

Opening Hours

Monday 5pm - 9pm
Tuesday 4pm - 9pm
Thursday 4pm - 9pm
Saturday 10am - 12pm
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