Cho’s Academy Teaches Martial Arts as Philosophy

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Jacob Cho was born into a life of martial arts. His father is a world-renowned Tae Kwon Do master who was one of the pioneers of martial arts in the United States. “I started kicking as soon as I was able to walk, competing and teaching at a very young age, and the rest is history,” explains a passionate Cho.

In 2009, Cho decided to share his passion for the arts with Laguna Beach and opened Cho’s Academy with co-founder, Dana Sara. Unique to Laguna, the academy offers a range of classes for all ages that include Tae Kwon Do, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, Vinyasa Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, FCF Fitness Bootcamps, and more. Whether you’re looking for a new hobby, a dynamic and fun fitness option, spiritual exploration, or a competitive pursuit, there’s a class for you.

A dedicated student and a teacher, Cho’s love for martial arts has taken him through over 40 years of study and has become the philosophy for which he lives his life.

“Our mission includes doing what we can to help elevate human consciousness; to promote good-will, integrity and truth; to build confidence, strength, and wellness through discipline; to teach empowering skill-sets; and to expand our reach as far as possible,” says Cho.

Good vibes are abundant at the academy’s clean and comfortable studio, and students tend to leave class feeling better than when they showed up through the teachings of passionate teachers. “We are truly fortunate to have so many amazing experienced teachers all in one spot,” he shares.

“My favorite part of teaching is two-fold; the help I can offer students and what I learn about myself in exchange. To teach is also to study,” Cho explains. “I get to work with so many local kids and families and feel honored being in this position.”

Eager to give back and spread the love, the academy also donates a third of all gross proceeds from its weekly yoga classes to a variety of charitable causes.

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“Martial arts and yoga are practices for self-mastery, taming the ego, and aligning with our true nature and higher selves,” shares Cho. “Traditional values, principles and ethics are common threads that connect the various disciplines offered at the academy.”

It makes sense then, that Cho’s Academy’s logo is an infinity symbol, which Cho says shows the infinite within us all. Its icon doubles as a belt transitioning from white to black, portraying perseverance and dedication to study, before transitioning back to white, which depicts humility, an open mind, and the forever student.

“I felt it was important to pick an icon that not only represents the depth of our practice, but also the broad scope of the varying arts offered,” explains Cho. “The infinite is open-ended and we look forward to future growth and opportunities to serve.”

Cho’s Academy is much more than just another martial arts or yoga studio -- it’s a place for students to transform their bodies and minds, discovering the infinite within themselves.

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Mari Verdugo is a fourth generation Laguna Beach native, a photographer, writer and only wears Vitamin A swimsuits. Find Mari at @marielenaphoto or on her website.

Photos by: Grant Puckett.