I am fortunate enough to have met our friend Kyle McElroy and my current trainer Tommy Bach at the same exact time in 1997. They were both teaching my very first kickboxing class together. Kyle went his separate way to a school called Z's Martial Arts. I feel like the story behind these two amazing instructors and their journey in the martial arts world is quite difficult to capture in one article. I talk quit a bit about Tommy because I am his student and train at his gym currently on a regular bases. In this particular article I will try to capture our dear friend for many many years, Kyle McElroy and the talent he poses and his ability to pass it on to others.
Kyle has owned a very successful gym for sixteen years called Striking Arts Academy in Wauconda Il. He is a third degree black belt in the art of King Chuan Do. He is 1998 TBC Illinois State Kick Champion. 1999 Regional IKEA Kickboxing Champion. 2000 and 2001 IKF National Champion. He retired as a professional fighter with a record of five wins, one loss. In 2018 he received the kickboxing instructor of the year award from the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
I am proud to have been and be apart of such talent, taking in all I can from these two very talented instructors who have given me so much. I try to explain to my kids that Seong Hea's Martial Arts in Buffalo Grove where Tommy owns and Striking Arts Academy in Wauconda where Kyle owns, for us, are like two different houses we play at, only I live at Seong Hea's, it is my original roots and Kyle is like our neighbor. Is it normal to cross breed gyms? I know back in the day "old school" it was most definitely not, but having grown up with these two guys with similar back grounds, I feel like we have all made an exception and the common purpose to better ourselves in any way we can! I have made it a point to have only the utmost respect for them both and appreciate what each talent has to offer. I'm grateful the doors are open to my family from both places to experience many life lessons in a martial arts environment. They truely are the best of the best.
A little of my back ground with Kyle McElroy started in 1997 and continues into the present 2020. He helped train me and was in my corner for many fights when I was younger in my twenties. Here we are waiting to enter the ring at the IKF Tournament back in 2000 in Council Bluff's Iowa. The other photo was an exhibition fight we did at Z's Martial Arts because my fighter that night did not show up. So Kyle was nice enough to get in the ring with me to help show case some of my talent to my family and friends that had come watch me fight. The other two are current photos of him teaching us knee strikes! He made me a better fighter then and continues to help make me a better fighter now.
Kyle continues to give his best to all his students and friends. He runs his gym with honesty, pride and determination. Anyone who gets the chance to train with him is considered lucky. And last but not least, as a great friend of my husband and mine, I continue to absorb all that he has to offer in this sport and in friendship.