​Be yourself. But be the best version of yourself.

Help your teen prepare for life with better focus, more respect, and improved discipline - all while helping her improve her self confidence through fitness!

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​Does your ​teen have difficulty

​With these issues?

​Your teen works hard at school but struggles to maintain focus and discipline.

​Your teen struggles with self esteem and confidence​, and struggles to get motivated to do anything.

​Your teen gets pushed around at school, and has difficulty standing up for himself.

​Parenting a teenager in today's world is tougher than ever.

​But you don't have to do it alone!

​As the father of four children myself, I understand exactly how difficult it is to guide your children through the modern world. You do everything you can at home - but it's not enough.

Our ​martial arts programs will keep your teen with other teens of solid character, while also providing him the chance to interact with adults ​as an adult​​ - while leaving him in ​a safe environment where messing it up occasionally will be a learning experience and not stay on his permanent record for life.​​​

This room is for the weak, that they may become strong.
This room is for the strong, that they may become humble.

​Our martial arts classes are here to build your up and make ​him stronger - not tear​ him down! No matter ​his personal fitness levels, we're here to help ​hem get stronger, faster, and more flexible. ​He'll burn a ton of calories to help ​him lose weight, get in shape, and feel better about himself - all while having a great time with ​his new friends!

​Sometimes your teen just needs to blow off some steam.

Martial arts are great stress relief!

​School is stressful, especially in today's world - and it only gets harder in high school and college. ​Your teen is loaded up with homework, stressed about exams and standardized testing, and ​stressed about getting into a good college.

Maybe she just needs a minute to let some of the stress out. We provide the perfect environment for that, ensuring that everything stays safe and controlled and nobody gets hurt. She'll leave class feeling a million times better, and ready to face the next day's challenges at school.

​Martial arts helps ​teens stand up to bullies and peer pressure.

​The skills for defense, with the wisdom not to abuse them.

​Bullying and peer pressure are two sides of the same coin, and the answer to both is the same. Your teen needs the strength and confidence to stand up to the other teens - both his peers ​and​ the bullies.

Martial Arts classes​​​ will help your teen grow stronger, leaner, and fitter, which in turn will help him feel a million times better about himself. ​But the best way to gain confidence is to face honest, difficult challenges and learn to overcome them. That's what we do every day​, with a curriculum designed to be difficult but achievable.

Your teen will find a whole new level of confidence after the taste of honest, real achievement.

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Fun Environment

Has a fun environment and allows you to get fit and learn skills that will help you in many aspects of your life.

Darren Sutzer
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Individual Needs

There are not a lot of teachers these days that will work with their students that have “disabilities”, but Sensei Russell was able to show me different ways to do throws or holds to accommodate mine!

Katherine Cottingham
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Years of Fun

My daughter has tried multiple sports throughout the years. Each time she enjoyed the sport for a few practice sessions and then had to be forced to complete the season. When she asked to try karate I agreed under the conditions that she had to complete a year. Fourteen months [now three years!] later and she still loves going to class!

Rese Stevens

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​Frequently Asked Questions

​Will martial arts help ​my teen lose weight?

​Martial arts burn a ton of calories​, comparing well against almost any other exercise ​your teen can do. Sparring, for example, can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour!

​My teen has never been good at sports. Will he embarrass himself?

​Absolutely not! ​Many of our teen students have struggled with sports in the past - and so did I! ​On a sports team, the entire team ​struggles when one member struggles, so there's high pressure both ​from within and from the other teammates. But Martial Arts students move at their own pace​. This takes the pressure off, and leads to a much more positive, supporting environment.

​Will martial arts improve my teen's confidence?

​​​True self-confidence ​​​comes from facing difficult challenges and overcoming them. Our training will provide your plenty of challenges - but our instructors and ​his fellow students will be there all the way to help ​him overcome them!

​Will martial arts training help ​my teen focus?

​Yes - and not just if ​he has​ ADHD - although it helps with that, too! ​Although our ​teen classes are more relaxed than our youth classes, ​your teen will still find a heavy emphasis on focus. And when ​his body feels fitter and better, ​his mind will work better, too!

​How else can martial arts benefit you?

​Our trained instructors will be there with ​your teen every step of the way to provide encouragement and support.

​Your teen will have a great time with ​his new friends.

​​Challenging but achievable goals will help ​your teen stay motivated.

​Regular exercise and ​better fitness and health will improve ​your teen's clarity of mind and focus.

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​About Sensei Russell Newquist

Sensei Russell Newquist

Owner and Chief Instructor

In January, 1995, I stepped into ​Spirit Made Steel - at the time, just a small martial arts class at the Madison Rec Center. Sixteen years old and armed with my first real paycheck, I had no idea how much Sensei Kevin Swanner was about to change my life. Over the next twelve years I followed Sensei Swanner and Spirit Made Steel Karate through five moves, lots of growth, and multiple knee injuries for both myself and Sensei Swanner!

When I started training with Sensei Swanner, I never imagined how much it would bring me out of my shell. If you’d told me then that I would now regularly not only speak but teach in front of ten, twenty, or thirty people, I wouldn’t have believed you. I was so terrified of public speaking!

But eventually I became an instructor myself as Sensei Swanner’s program grew. When my wife Morgon and I moved to Georgia in 2007, I began teaching my own program. Then, after I moved back home and finished my master’s degree, I continued by opening Madison Martial Arts Academy in 2013.

In 2016, Sensei Swanner decided to step back from day-to-day teaching duties here at Spirit Made Steel. As he continues the next leg of his martial arts journey, I’ve been honored to continue his legacy here at Spirit Made Steel. I’m happy to have “come home” once more, and I’m excited to offer new generations of students the same chance for personal growth that the martial arts and Sensei Swanner gave me.

Sensei Russell Newquist

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