Meet Grandmaster Al Smith

With well over forty years of experience in Taekwondo, dating back to his military service in Korea, Grandmaster Smith has attained the level of 9th Degree Black Belt. In 2007, Grandmaster Smith was inducted into the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Grandmaster of the Year. He has developed fitness and recreation programs as well as discipline and anger management utilizing Taekwondo. Grandmaster Smith owned and operated the Masters Taekwondo Academy, a thriving business in Huntsville, Alabama for over 23 years. At the request of Benton Harbor’s former Mayor, Charles Yarborough, and in response to the greater need he found here, Grandmaster Smith returned to his native Michigan and started his local operation in 1997. Grandmaster Smith also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Theology. His overall focus is providing youth with the confidence and resources to achieve success in family, school and society.

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“The student’s respect has grown for all adults, including teachers. I have had fewer disruptions and more learning going on in my classroom that I can directly attribute to the Taekwondo training of my students.”
“I know that a lot of the kids I see here, if they weren’t here, I would be seeing them on the streets.”
“Taekwondo gives us a chance to do something together, outside of work. Plus, kicking is fun and gets out a lot of stress.”