We have two types of scholarships for our NDMA family.
Robert J. Abadie Memorial Scholarship Recipients
2021: ASHLEY VILLANUEVA - UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS DALLAS
North Dallas Martial Arts has always been a safe place for me. I was shy and did not have a lot of friends when I first started training. At school, I was bullied, and I became very insecure. When I was on the mat, I was able to push away my insecurities. I felt stronger because I had so many people, including Mr. David and my fellow students, to support me if I needed it. For a long time, North Dallas Martial Arts was a place where I could focus on something I loved and leave everything that bothered me behind for a couple hours. Being a martial artist helped me gain confidence on and off the mat. Because I became confident in my abilities on the mat, I was confident that I would be able to face the other challenges I experienced in my life. I started making friends and was less intimidated when talking to other people. Because of everything North Dallas Martial Arts did for me, I loved the environment on the mat and wanted to make it a safe place for other students. I wanted to be a role model for younger students and be someone they wanted to see each week. I wanted to help them feel like they could accomplish great things and face their own challenges. Through leadership experiences at North Dallas Martial Arts, I found a love for teaching and mentoring younger students. Being on the mat was not just about my personal empowerment, but it was about what I could give to our white belts to our black belts: encouragement, knowledge, friendship, and compassion. For me, North Dallas Martial Arts is about creating a safe place and a community for the students and families who walk through the doors. It is about growth in all areas of life. For me, it was confidence and leadership, but the kids I see each week might need me there for some encouragement to keep moving forward or to make their day a little bit brighter.
2020: WILLIAM ANDERSON - OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
When I started going to the school I had just been through a rough patch in life. I signed up with the main purpose of learning self defense so I could protect myself from other people. When I joined the school though, I did not expect to make so many friends or to find something I truly enjoyed. Since I joined when I was around 12 years old, I was quite tall and strong already which helped me with bag work and sparring. Being good at something gave me confidence that at that time I was very much lacking, and helped me become the person I am today. When I first started I didn’t know what to think of my martial arts future, or if there was even one. All that changed when I attended classes with higher belts, and I saw all the stuff that they were able to do. The thing that drew most of my attention was katas. I don’t know why, but my best guess is that it was one of the few things that were scaled to your rank. While everyone was able to do bag work, block, falls and rolls, and self defense; only katas were limited. That scaling system first led me to be interested in continuing karate, but then I discovered sparring. Sparring is what I think helped me the most overall, because it gave the ability to think fast and how to act in dangerous scenarios. Though self defense was there, it required more set out and planned thinking rather than relying on raw instinct. From sparring I was able to get the best thing from martial arts, my friends. Nothing bonds people more than trading blows with one another. I was able to meet people who were serious and dedicated to keep on improving themselves rather than people who were only there because of their parents. I won’t mention any names, but they were very incremental to the person who I am now. Finally I’d like to note all of my injuries, though none of them were actually from martial arts despite a few skin burns. When I would be gone for a time having to repair myself from whatever mishap I had endured, I worried that when I would come back everything would be different and I’d be forgotten. However when I came back I was welcomed with open arms and greeting, and things were as I had never left. What this school has done for my life I can never pay back, as it is priceless. It gave me new friends, inspired me with confidence, and gave me a drive to reach out and grab my goals. There’s not enough that I can say, but I’ll simply say thank you, and if you ever need to reach something just give me a call.