Brief History of TIGER Martial Arts Academy
TIGER Martial Arts Academy has been serving the Hampton Roads Community since 1968. The Academy was founded by the late Kyoshi Willie R. Hunter Sr. Kyoshi Hunter started training in the art of Judo at the age of 13. As a young teenager, his mother felt that martial arts was a great way for Kyoshi to stay out of trouble, learn how to protect himself, and learn the value of personal development. During his studies of the martial arts, Kyoshi studied and achieved Black Belts in Moo Do Kwan, Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, and Judo. As an adult with over 50 years of martial arts experience, Kyoshi understood the importance of teaching practical self-defense and how one could develop personally through proper guidance. He wanted to share this gift with children and adults. The first TIGER Martial Arts Academy started in the front yard of Kyoshi’s home. He would train anyone who wanted to learn. In time TIGER evolved from the backyard to recreation centers, to old buildings, and to its current location. Kyoshi Hunter died May 25, 2005. He never got the chance to see the 7,200 sq ft building his sons Willie and Jeffrey Hunter built in honor of his dedication to God, his family, and students.
Willie R. Hunter Jr is currently the Operational Director and Jeffrey Hunter is the Director of Student Education. Willie Hunter started martial arts training at the age of three years old. Mr. Hunter has competed nationally and internationally in martial arts championships. In 1993, he was ranked number three in the country. Following the philosophy of their father, ”that one should always strive to better themselves”, Willie Hunter Jr. earned a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education and Jeffrey Hunter earned a degree in Art Education. Through commitment, dedication and hard work, TIGER Martial Arts Academy is one of the top schools in the country. TIGER is very active in the local community. The Academy is often enlisted to speak at public and private schools to stress the importance of education, goal setting and the benefits of fitness and self-defense. TIGER is also active in raising funds for the American Cancer Society, the National Food Bank, and many other organizations.
TIGER Martial Arts Academy has a Linage that dates back 4 centuries. From the Samurai who utilize Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Karate as a means to protect the emperor to the people of Thailand who developed the art of Muay Thai to ward off enemies from other countries. Our Instructors have had the privilege of studying under some of the world’s top martial artists in order to not only develop themselves but to provide the members of TIGER with a quality martial arts education.