Monthly Archives: May 2012
Originally Published in Local Flair Magazine serving the Pocono Mountains and surrounding areas. May-June Edition/Release Written by : Jeff Behr
Fighting the Good Fight Coach Lombardo and His “Kids”
For anyone pondering the status of Martial Arts these days, a quick look at TV tells the story. As you scan the dial, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a sports or entertainment channel that doesn’t feature some form of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) a breakaway sport currently trumpeted as the “fastest growing sport in the world.” It has become that popular.
But you needn’t tell this to Rocco Lombardo, a 6th degree black-belt in Tae-Kwon-Do who has studied Martial Arts for three decades and currently teaches at a chapter of the World Martial Arts Academy in Brodheadsville. Operating out of a cavernous basement at the Western Pocono Community Library, Lombardo exudes the Martial Arts lifestyle, and does his best to share its many benefits with others including those burdened with substantial life challenges. You might say it’s in his blood.
At the academy the coach strives to teach his students the entire spectrum of the Martial Arts experience, not merely the self-defense techniques that many believe are definitive of these disciplines. In this way, he helps to guide his students toward improved health, a sense of well-being and enlightenment. Combine these elements with the camaraderie and kinship that sprouts from such a nurturing environment, and you’re looking at Coach Lombardo’s formula for success.
Lombardo’s credentials are first-rate. They include a Bachelors Degree in Sociology from SUNY, Fredonia, and a Masters in Counseling and Personal Services from Fordham University. He is a graduate of Accomplishment Coaching one of the most rigorous International Coach Federation (ICF) accredited training programs available and received his sixth-degree black belt while training under the masterful eye of Dr. Michael T. Dealy, a ninth degree black belt holder based in Brooklyn, N.Y. But these qualifications, as grand as they are, only highlight the coach’s capabilities. What he has done with this training tells an even richer tale.
Student Donna E. Cully recalls how she had taken her son Christopher, now 14, to Karate classes in the past, but nothing had clicked. Christopher has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism that often impedes the learning process, so disappointments like this were commonplace. But things began to change after Christopher started training with Coach Lombardo. “Coach Lombardo has stood strongly before Christopher as his mentor and instructor, providing him with a safe, non-contact, non-threatening environment where Christopher has flourished and grown stronger both physically and emotionally,” says Cully. “Christopher’s academics have improved with the added focus and confidence he has gained through Coach Lombardo’s instruction.
Coach Lombardo is currently training students as young as four, and as old as eighty-two. But age is immaterial, they’re all his “kids.” Following the core tenets of courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit, each student strives to reach their own unique goals. With Coach Lombardo’s help, it’s a safe bet that they’ll get there.
Classes are available to individuals and families. For more information call 570.269.0096.