Jose Acanda is a martial arts instructor based in Virginia. He teaches varying levels of tae kwon do to children and adults of different skill levels. His teaches at a variety of locations, including personal training studios, middle school settings, and other locations throughout Virginia.
While his training spans a number of different martial arts practices, Jose prefers to teach tae kwon do. Tae kwon do is a martial arts form that was founded in Korea. It combines combat and self-defense techniques with exercise and sports techniques. “Tae” means to kick, or to smash with the feet; “kwon” means to punch or destroy with the hand; and “do” means the way. Therefore, loosely translated, tae kwon do means “the way of the foot and the hand.” As such, tae kwon do is the application of several techniques, including punching, kicking, and sparring to engage in combat or self-defense. Because of the discipline required to master tae kwon do, training in the sport is as much emotional and mental as it is physical, and emphasizes strong moral character and self-control.
Jose Acanda is dedicated to preserving the traditional art of the sport, and the noble principles upon which it was founded. He enjoys teaching people of varying fitness levels, from beginner to advanced, and working with students one-on-one. Jose teaches his students a sense of preciseness and discipline in order to improve their accuracy and self-control in the sport.
Jose Acanda was born in Cuba. While living in Cuba, he trained with the Olympic Team, which is considered the highest level of competition. He participated with the group between 1996 and 2001. Not many students of the sport are permitted to train at such a high level. Only students who show a true understanding of the sport and demonstrate precision in their technique are allowed to advance to such a level. The training he took during this four-year period would greatly influence his teaching techniques later in his career.
In 2004, Jose Acanda emigrated from Cuba to the United States. He settled in Virginia, where he continued to follow his passion for martial arts. In 2004 he placed at a high level in the Virginia State Championships for martial arts and tae kwon do.
After moving to the United States, Jose Acanda became a naturalized citizen. There are several requirements for becoming a naturalized citizen, including having a green card for a minimum of five years and maintaining residence within the United States for this time, living within the state where you are applying for at least three months, having the ability to read, write and speak English, and having a knowledge of United States history, United States government and the principles of the Constitution. After applying, individuals go through a background check and fingerprinting. Additionally, applicants go through an interview process and take a series of tests on subjects such as English and civics. Once an applicant completes this process, they are granted naturalization and take the Oath of Allegiance. After becoming a naturalized citizen, individuals have the same rights and responsibilities as other American citizens.
After moving to the United States, Jose Acanda decided to turn his passion for martial arts into a profitable business. In the early 2000s he opened a martial arts studio in Virginia. At the studio, he hoped to teach students of all ages the different aspects of the sport of tae kwon do, and the benefits that come with learning the sport. Students of the sport learn speed, balance, flexibility and stamina, which contribute to their overall health and are applicable in other aspects of their lives. Additionally, they learn to defend themselves from attack. While this affords them some safety, it also teaches them to use their body in a controlled manner.
Jose drew upon his extensive knowledge of the sport when he opened the studio with his wife. However, it takes a lot more to start a studio than an understanding of the techniques. What makes Jose an exceptional teacher is his patience with his students, his passion for the sport and his leadership abilities. Jose genuinely wants his students to do well and grow from his classes, and often teaches students one-on-one and invests additional time with students to help them advance in the sport. His efforts have motivated students and led to meaningful, long-lasting relationships between him and his pupils.
Jose Acanda is passionate about teaching the different elements of martial arts, and knows that teaching martial arts to students of all ages, but especially children, affords them a number of different benefits.
Childhood obesity is an epidemic in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children in the past 30 years, and more than one third of children and adolescents in the United States were overweight or obese in 2010. Engaging in physical activities like martial arts significantly increases a child’s fitness level, which reduces their chances of long-term health risks.
In addition to the health benefits, studies have shown that children who participate in martial arts programs have increased levels of self-confidence. This self-esteem will benefit them greatly in life, not only helping them to connect with people more easily but also affording them greater confidence in their abilities. Children who learn martial arts also learn the principles that the ancient techniques are founded on, including discipline and respect. Children who learn these techniques are more likely to be respectful to their parents, teachers and peers, and are more likely to carry this skill into adulthood. Additionally, children who are taught discipline through martial arts are more likely to employ self-control in the decisions they make and are likely to be goal-setting and advance further in life. Statistics have also shown that children involved in martial arts achieve more in school, most likely because these principles have been instilled in them.
Jose Acanda’s belief in the advantages of teaching martial arts to children has led him to engage in several philanthropic endeavors. He has offered free classes for children with special needs, has trained numerous children with Down syndrome, and is passionate about teaching special needs children the benefits of self-defense. He has also worked hard to dispel the misconceptions about martial arts training, especially that it is violent.
Although he has lived in the United States for almost a decade, Jose Acanda is passionate about the culture he was born to. He loves music and dance, particularly salsa and merengue. He participates in Cuban dance and Cuban culture opportunities whenever possible.
Because he is a martial arts instructor, Jose loves watching boxing and Ultimate Fighting Competitions. UFC is a mixed martial arts competition, and is one of the largest sports organizations in the world. Jose enjoys watching these competitions, and applying the skills he sees utilized in the fights and incorporating them into his teaching. Although Jose Acanda has since closed his studio in Virginia, he remains close with many of his previous students and continues to teach children and adults tae kwon do at various locations around Virginia.
When Jose Acanda closed his studio in Virginia, he immediately began dreaming of opening a new one in a different place. Although his life has taken him in several unexpected directions, his passion for martial arts and the sport of tae kwon do has remained with him throughout everything. He yearned to share his knowledge with students who share this passion, and to help students achieve a high level of skill in the sport. Currently, he is planning to open a new martial arts studio in Florida, where he hopes he will find students with drive and passion similar to the students he taught in Virginia. He hopes to continue his philanthropic endeavors in Florida, and hopes to teach special needs children about the unique benefits of learning martial arts. He is also passionate about teaching tae kwon do as a form of self-defense, and hopes that he can implement special classes in his new studio to teach students about how to utilize the ancient sport to protect themselves. Acanda also hopes to help fight the obesity epidemic by teaching a new generation about the health benefits of martial arts. Overall, Jose Acanda hopes his studio in Florida will give a new batch of students not only physical training, but will also afford them psychological and intellectual benefits.