We love Ms. Palacios and Palacios ATA Martial Arts!
Our first grader started taking taekwondo (TKD) lessons from Ms. Palacios one day per week in his after-school program at Magellan International school. We were so impressed with the resulting positive changes in our son, we soon had him attending additional evening and weekend classes at her studio on South IH 35 between Wells Branch and Howard Lane. He's preparing to test for his 3rd belt in just a few weeks and TKD has become a huge part of our family life.
The gym space in a North Austin industrial park is nothing fancy, but it has everything a TKD student at any age from 3+ needs to progress, especially caring, knowledgeable, and motivating instructors. While Ms. Palacios (5th degree black belt with 20 years of experience) is the owner and primary teacher, there are several other advanced black belts on staff (all of whom have undergone background checks) who take turns leading different aspects of each class. Further, during each class, students at all belt levels are challenged to take on responsibilities and lead small groups of others below their belt levels, a great way to foster leadership skills.
Beyond the fitness, self-defense, and discipline aspects of TKD, Ms. Palacios emphasizes academics, leadership, and good citizenship. She even teaches bullying prevention at local schools and incorporates many of those lessons into her TKD classes.
Another thing we love about Palacios ATA: they offer summer and school holiday day camps for elementary school ages. These camps aren't just about martial arts and character building, but also offer other fun activities like tumbling, inflatables, and popcorn flicks with a good lesson.
I've been so happy with the positive experience for our child, I'm now considering taking up lessons myself. When I do, I'll update this review with more info on the adult TKD beginner experience at Palacios ATA.
Note: this business has another listing as ATA Blackbelt Academy, but it is the same gym as Palacios ATA. I've asked Yelp HQ to merge the two pages, but that may take a while to happen.