Ron and Jymme Sue Manchester have opened Rocky Mountain Martial Arts at 845 Washington St. in Montpelier, next to the News-Examiner where Country Prim and Country Road Clothing Store used to be located.
People will probably remember the Academy of Mixed Martial Arts which Ron and Jymme Sue owned and operated a while back. They taught mixed martial arts for several years before moving away from the valley.
After Jymme Sue’s son passed away, she needed time to process things and deal with everything, so they moved away for a time. After living in Boise for some of that period, they made the choice to move back to Bear Lake. Ron says people began asking them if they were going to start up their martial arts training again. They felt like there was enough interest to make it worth while, so they began looking for a place for a dojo.
According to Ron, they were happy to find this new location after having to use so many other places previously, such as the high school, a dance studio, and many others. They needed somewhere with a wrestling mat to do Jui-Jitsu, and this place is perfect.
At Rocky Mountain Martial Arts, Ron and Jymme Sue teach Karate, Jui-Jitsu, and Tae Kwon Do. This includes a range of forms, or “Kata,” which teach focus.
They include an Adult Class, for those 13 years and above, the Little Tigers class for the little ones, and then the Lady’s Self Defense Class.
Jymme is planning, in the future, to hold a Golden Tiger’s Class for people who are physically challenged or older people who have health problems. She says she wants this class because “they have earned their right to be there.” She will keep the cost down because most of those people are on fixed incomes.
They also have family rates and have had a lot of families in the past come and learn martial arts.
According to Ron, the goal when a person walks into their dojo is they forget about the world; the hour-and-half is for them. They leave the world behind them. They are there to learn about their inner self and how to strengthen themselves not only on the outside, but on the inside too. It’s about integrity and honesty and bringing those strengths to the floor.
They do not teach cage fighting, but they do send people on to tournaments if they are interested. Most of their training is for self defense and strengthening.
Ron started in martial arts when he was 22-years-old and in the National Guard. His Sgt. Major received his training as a Green Beret in Korea. He agreed to be Ron's sensei and train him and any others he found. They got together a dojo and all learned together.
After he came home, he began training law enforcement and Fish and Game in martial arts, and then they moved to the Bear Lake Valley and began training mostly women in martial arts while the men were working.
After Ron and Jymme Sue were married, Jymme Sue learned the art from Ron. She says she was shy at first, having a hard time with what she perceived people were thinking. However, she pushed through. Once she pushed through the red belt and realized it was for herself, she moved forward from there and got her black belt.
During their training, students move on to learning weapons. Jymme Sue says her favorite weapon is the Wakasashi Sword, the medium Samarai sword, which is used in IADO, a very controlled, very meditative form of martial arts. She actually went to tournament with this weapon and won a prize.
Students also use the bow, which is the Japanese word for “staff,” and they use the Eskrima sticks.
Rocky Mountain Martial Arts is looking for students, both young and old. Maybe you could be one of them. Ron and Jymme Sue are anxious to teach you what they have learned and know about martial arts. Maybe you want to learn self defense. Maybe you just want to learn to relax and become one with yourself. This is what they came back to teach and share with everyone they can.
We are glad to have Ron and Jymme Sue back in the valley, and we are sure Rocky Mountain Martial Arts will take off and be a successful business for them.
Jymme Sue said, “We are just so glad to be back. When we left, everything just kept drawing us back. Also, because of the journey I’ve been on, I’ve learned that you just have to accept what has happened and move forward.”