ISMA Home Page

Classes, Days, & Times
Location & Registration Info

New Students
ISMA Rank Structure

Head Instructor
Assistant Instructors

Street Smart Self Defense

Frequently Asked Questions



"My son, who is 5, has been taking from Ms. Bales for the past year and a half. There has never been a time when he didn't want to go. He loves the class. There is a lot of variety, and the kids are kept involved. Honestly, I thought my son was just having a good time, getting some exercise, and learning a little karate. When I was told he could test for his "yellow stripe" belt, I expected a fifteen minute "no big deal" mock test. I was shocked to find out how much my five year old had learned. After a two hour test of commands and techniques, he had passed. He was so very proud of himself and so was I. I recommend ISMA highly."

- Dee Neukranz (parent of Chris)

"Ms. Bales has instructed my son in martial arts for the last five years. My wife and I have been extremely pleased in her approach to technique as well as her ability to stimulate and maintain his interest in martial arts. I give her and her school my highest recommendation."

- Dr. Ralph Posch (parent of Konrad)

"I would recommend the ISMA school to anyone who has been turned off by schools that have a militaristic, us-against-them attitude. Ms. Bales teaches discipline and respect, not rank and who's better than who. She also encourages everyone to participate in school sponsored activities. Belts are awarded only when you have shown that you have learned all of the required techniques for that level, and that you have improved on the techniques learned at previous levels. This distinguishes ISMA from the "Belt-of-the-Month Club" schools. All in all, itís a great school."

- Curtis Rutter (adult student)

"ISMA is a great way to keep you fit both physically and mentally and also learn self defense at the same time. The school analyzes in depth the material taught to its students and teaches it with explanation as to why it will work. The school also does not hesitate to change lesson techniques, forms, training, etc. which is a sign of continuous improvement and is done after deep analysis and sometimes real life experiences."

- Venkatesh Chandramouli (adult student)

"I started taking Ms. Bales class in hopes of getting in better shape. I had no idea the effect her classes would have on me. As a person with chronic back problems and constant pain in my lower back I can honestly say that after 3-4 months of Ms. Bales classes I have noticed that my back pain has disappeared. After 7 years since back surgery I thought I would never find relief but think I may finally have an answer. Not to mention I feel more flexible and quite a bit healthier in general."

- Chris Davis (adult student)

"My two sons, age 4 and 7, are both taking lessons from Ms. Cheryl Bales. The boys love the classes and I, as a parent, love her teaching style. Ms. Bales requires concentration and discipline in class while also encouraging and motivating the students. She is always adding fun new strategies and games to teach the skills while maintaining a fun and challenging atmosphere. My boys are always made to feel good about themselves and try to do their best (which is difficult to accomplish with this age children). I am amazed to watch the difficult skills and excellent form they have picked up in a very short period of time."

- Mary Hartnett (parent of Tommy and Jonathan)

"This is my sonís first time taking martial arts and he is so excited each time he gets ready for Ms. Bales class. Ms. Bales is extremely talented and so patient with the children, she not only teaches them safe self defense and discipline but also makes them laugh and have fun while learning and that is what its all about. Austin will definitely continue as an ISMA student."

- Darcy M. Resch (parent of Austin, 8)

"Ms. Bales has been the martial arts instructor for my son for approximately four years. She is very knowledgeable and skilled as an instructor in martial arts, but more significantly, she is also very patient with her students and tries to strike a balance amongst the students and their varied skill levels. Ms. Bales has helped to instill confidence and discipline in my son. He very much enjoys this school and looks forward to continuing with Ms. Bales as his instructor as he progresses in his martial arts education."

- Curtis Lee (parent of Justin)

"Ms. Bales is pretty cool. When she teaches me something new sometimes I am afraid to try it. She talks to me and helps me feel better; then I'm not scared anymore and I try. This class has taught me that if I practice something enough I can be better at it. Ms. Bales handles us kids pretty well. If we act up, or aren't paying attention, she puts us in time out or sends us out of the classroom until we are ready (to focus). She also rewards us if we've done well by allowing us to play games like races and obstacle courses. I have a lot of respect for Ms. Bales."

- James Woods III, 4 years old. (student)

"I have seen an incredible difference in James since he started ISMA with Ms. Bales. He is more respectful and more focused in his activities. While he is a typical 4 year old boy, his whole demeanor changes when he enters her classroom, whether she is present or heís early for class and she hasnít arrived yet. He has developed a great respect for her as a trusted instructor. He is learning to do his best *not* just to please mommy and daddy, but to please himself. The pride in his eyes the day he earned his yellow stripe belt brought tears to mine. Ms. Bales reinforces our teachings at home regarding respect, hard work, and genuine kindness toward others. And on top of this he is having a blast!

- Dawn N Woods (parent of James, 4)

"Finding a knowledgeable and caring Sifu had been a quest for me for sometime. I had learned Chinese martial arts and Judo back in my university years and I really wanted to be able to continue in the martial arts. My quest was over when I found Ms. Bales and Inner Strength Martial Arts. Ms. Bales is not only very knowledgeable in Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, self defense and other martial arts, but also fully understand the philosophy behinds these. My two boys are also in ISMA and we all enjoy learning from Ms. Bales. I would highly recommend ISMA to anyone who would like to learn martial arts that enriches their lives with positive influence and confidence."

- Chieh-Chung (Eric) Wang (student and parent of Paul and Alex)

"I've always wanted to take martial arts ever since I was a little kid. However due to conflicts, I only got to do so twice and unfortunately neither was a positive experience. I was fortunate to find ISMA, and ever since then I have become addicted to martial arts. ISMA is the perfect place for those who are orientated towards learning self-defense and all the elements of martial arts, both physically and mentally. One factor that really impresses me is the flexibility of the school - given our modern society and it's changes, the ISMA system evolves and adjusts to accommodate present day situations. In comparison to my past two training experiences, I would have to note another big difference in ISMA. Respect. While lower ranks look up to the upper ranks for their advanced knowledge and proficiency, no one is treated "less" so to speak. Higher ranked classmates truly do care about their fellow classmates and assist with the lower rank's best interest at heart. I've made many friendships at ISMA, and the school truly does have a family atmosphere. I have also been fortunate to meet someone who has helped me in matters besides martial arts. Ms. Bales has been a mentor to me over the course of last year. While most adults I know would simply listen half-heartily to my questions, Ms. Bales has listened to my questions and problems before offering helpful guidance. Overall, through ISMA, I am not only achieving my goal of learning martial arts, but at the same time I have gained confidence and strengthened my mind as well. The only regret I have is not joining ISMA earlier.

- Stephanie Lo (adult student)

"Both of our children are students at Ms. Bales' Inner Strength Martial Arts school (an affiliate of AAU). Without fail, Ms. Bales has consistently demonstrated outstanding professionalism, superb teaching skills, and a unique ability to interact exceedingly well with her students and their respective families. She sets high standards for herself and her students. As a parent, I am extremely grateful to have my child under the tutelage of such a fine instructor. I must say, that like many "newcomers" to the sport of martial arts, I was cautious about selecting an instructor who was both technically skilled and, at the same time, loyal to the traditional values of the art. Ms. Bales has lived up to those expectations. She models and teaches the temperament, attitude, and etiquette of a respected black belt instructor. She is patient, yet firm with her students. Ms. Bales is also very knowledgeable of child development and age-appropriate expectations. She has a fine rapport with her young students. As a parent, I have always been impressed by her sense of confidence and interest in and ability to communicate with parents and students alike, of all age groups."

- Jane Fuller (parent of John & Claire)

"I started at ISMA to get a workout in as well as learn martial arts. Ms. Balesí teaching techniques are commendable; she encourages while she appropriately challenges every rank, from beginner to advanced. Ms. Bales emphasizes the knowledge behind every martial arts move versus the movement alone. Her self-defense program is highly practical; it is meant to be used if faced with real danger. Her first principle of self-defense is to avoid the conflict or attempt to remove yourself from the conflict. If the first principal doesnít work, then use a self defense technique and then remove yourself from the danger. Her philosophy does not teach violence, instead, she teaches us true self-defense. In addition to my personal experience, I have had the opportunity to observe Ms. Bales teach the youth classes. Her patience level is amazing. She is able to keep the kids interested and challenged while keeping the class fun for them. I have seen the personal attention she gives every child; she respects them and has earned an astonishing amount of respect in return."

- Rita Patel (adult student)

"I have always wanted to learn martial arts, but I have never had the money or the time to spend on an extensive learning experience. At ISMA, I don't have these problems. Iíve learned that I can commit as much time as Iíd like to my training and the benefits at ISMA are numerous, but the price is small. Training at ISMA is the ideal situation for any dedicated teenager who is low on cash.

-Keishiro Ariizumi (teen student)

"Inner Strength Martial Arts is more than just a school... I had the privilege of training at ISMA with Ms. Bales as a student and an award winning tournament team member. I recently relocated out of the Dallas area and found out just how great ISMA really is. Ms Bales is truly a wonderful instructor and the martial arts she teaches will absolutely change you - physically, mentally, and emotionally. But what I found the hardest to leave is the Family of the Inner Strength Martial Arts. The Friends you make, The special events that are held, The knowing that all the other people you train with are pulling for you when it comes to test time. Sharing the joys of finally getting a kick just right... or knowing there is a shoulder to turn to when you just canít go on. I would recommend ISMA, Ms. Bales classes and philosophies to anyone who has an interest in martial arts. I have been to numerous schools since I left the ISMA and nothing has compared to the family I left behind."

- Jerry P. Daniels (former adult student)

"Ms. Bales is the best teacher I have ever had: she challenges your mind, strength, and stuff. A year ago, I moved to Alabama and now Iím studying in the Ishinru karate system. I have always regretted having to leave her school because here at the new school there are no challenges - you practically pay your money and get a belt! My best time in the I.S.M.A. program was right before I moved. I was really starting to understand a lot in my training of the system and I progressed pretty well. I was almost to my Blue Belt, but then I had to move. In my new school, I have surpassed blue belt (rank for rank) in ľ the time it took me in the ISMA system, but I only know 1/10 the information. I miss training with Ms. Bales at ISMA."

- Stephen Palecek (former student)

"I have three children who took martial arts lessons from Ms. Bales over a four year period. My children enjoyed the lessons very much. Their physical fitness improved significantly along with their confidence and ability to protect themselves should they ever need to. I found Ms. Bales to work very well with children and adults alike. She laughs a lot with them, however, always maintains a high level of discipline and respect. I feel that she is a good role model for my girls of a strong, fit woman. Ms. Bales maintains a high skill level and seems to push herself to learn more and constantly improve. I would highly recommend ISMA to anyone seeking martial arts."

- Marieda Dudash (parent of Derek, Janelle, and Tiffany)

"Ms. Bales has a lot of passion for what she does. She really enjoys both teaching and martial arts - this is the key to being a good teacher. My daughters and I were taking classes with her and she was able to switch according to the different ages and needs from her students. The class was great because of the unique style. ISMA is the place to go to introduce yourself or children to the magnificent world of martial art."

- Sergio Robledo (former student, and Parent of Fujiko & Asami)

"My children have taken martial arts from Ms. Bales for 4 years. We recently relocated, and leaving ISMA was very difficult for us. Ms. Bales is punctual, patient, and very caring towards the children. Her teaching methods are top notch, and my children left each class learning something new as well as having a good time. It is more than just a class, it is a family atmosphere, with holiday parties, and get together which everyone enjoys."

- Pam Graves (parent of Shannon & Haley)


Best viewed using Internet Explorer at a resolution of 800x600 or greater. For the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer please visit Microsoft.
martial art, martial arts, martial arts texas, martial arts plano, martial arts allen, martial arts dallas, kung fu, kung fu plano, kung fu dallas, kung fu allen, kung fu texas, shui huo, shui huo kung fu, shuihuo, shuihuo kung fu, soo hwa, soohwa, soo hwa kung fu, soohwa kung fu, tae kwon do, taekwondo, inner strength, isma, amateur athletic union, aau, cma, bales, portnoy, sigung, sifu, karate, karate plano, karate allen, karate texas, karate dallas