Devoting nearly her entire life to the practice of martial arts, Lacey Fox always knew she wanted to share her training with others.
Thatâs why, nearly three years ago, she started the Fairmont School of Martial Arts, accepting students of all ages and creeds. She was inspired to open the dojo to help children in need.
âYou see kids on the street, very young kids,â Fox said. âI wouldnât even think about letting my child outside to get the mail at that age by themselves without supervision. Theyâre running in the streets and getting into things that no kids should be involved in. I wanted a place for them to come. A safe one for them. Somewhere that they could come and learn things about martial arts, but more importantly, about life.â
Fox started training when she was 5 years old and has since worked her way up the ladder, most recently obtaining a third-degree black belt. Fox said that in martial arts, discipline is the key to success.
âI definitely donât start them out by saying âOkay, hereâs how to punch somebody,â because they donât learn anything behind that,â Fox said. â
In fact, Fox takes discipline in her students very seriously, factoring criteria from her studentsâ outside life into the dojo.
âIf kids are getting bad grades, they come to my dojo and they do homework,â Fox said. âThey donât do classâ¦ Karate is great. Itâs fantastic, but you have to have the education, as well, and that comes before anything. Thatâs what I preach to them all the time.â
Another important factor in the dojo is self-defense, which Fox said is prioritized over offensive moves, a philosophy tied back to discipline in martial arts.
âI donât want them to go out and look for any type of altercations with anyone, but I also donât want them to become a victim,â Fox said. âWith bullying and all of the things going on now, itâs gotten a lot worse, and I think thatâs because a lot of people have gotten really, really soft. I train them to be confident, but to also be humble.â
Located in the Middletown Mall, The Fairmont School for Martial Arts recently moved into the former offices of the Department of Health and Human Resources. Fox said that the location is a huge improvement over the schoolâs original dojo, and the school can now comfortably fit its 55 students.
Over the weekend, several of the schoolâs students competed in a tournament in Grafton, and brought home quite a few awards.
âOur kids did extremely well,â Fox said. âEverything went greatâ¦ I actually have a competition team, and they go all around and compete in these tournaments.â
Fox is helped at the dojo by her fellow sensei, Erik Stevens and Larissa…