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About Us

About Our School

Martial Arts Lifestyle Center is a family owned and operated Martial Arts school! Martial Arts Lifestyle Center has been offering instruction and training in martial arts since 1993. Located in Philadelphia, PA, Martial Arts Lifestyle Center has produced champions in life as well as in the martial arts.

Headed by Master John P. McGonnigle Sr. (5th Dan) and a staff of expert instructors and managers. Martial Arts Lifestyle Center offers a number of programs for physical fitness and instruction in martial arts.

Why Martial Arts?

Simply put, Martial Arts training builds physical strength and strength of character. Martial Arts is for everyone, regardless of age or body type. And since it encourages a lifestyle of total well-being, Martial Arts training is a lifelong journey rather than a destination.

Why Our School?

We could say we're the best in the area because we offer so much more than other schools. But we'll let you make that decision! From our friendly, knowledgeable and well-trained staff to our clean, safe and well-equipped facility, we have the perfect program for YOU. We're kid-focused and adult-savvy. We'll not only teach you all the techniques and moves, but we'll also educate you in the Martial Arts way: Respect, Self-Confidence and Discipline. And parents: We guarantee to transform your child into a motivated, self-starter who will clean his/her room without being asked! So come grow with us... and bring the entire family!

The history of our school is...

Coming Soon!

The history of our style is...


Karate is an art of self-defense and a sport which has proliferated worldwide since the 1950s. It is now one of the most widely practiced of the Asian Martial Arts.

Unlike other Martial Arts such as Judo, Aikido, or Jujutsu, Karate is not a grappling art. Its practitioners learn to deliver blows with their hands and feet as well as using many parts of the body in blocking and defensive movements. And unlike Judo, there are a large number of styles in Karate. Because rivalry among the groups is intense, Karate is the most fragmented of all the Martial Arts.

Karate techniques consist basically of hand techniques and foot techniques. Hand techniques are divided into defensive or offensive moves. Foot techniques are divided into kicking techniques and leg blocking techniques. Other important elements of karate include stances, posture and body shifting. Since there are a multitude of moves in karate there are different stances for each situation. Stance must be flexible; it must be changed with direction and type of movement.

About Our Instructors and Staff

Our Instructors have spent many years devoted to training in the martial arts and have attained a certain level of expertise to qualify them as teachers and also mentors.

Through extensive testing, certification and tournament level competition, our staff has attained mastery in this martial art and now enjoy sharing their skill and passing it on to their students. Here are a few of Martial Arts Lifestyle Center's instructors and other staff members, starting with Master John P. McGonnigle Sr.

John P. McGonnigle Sr. (5th Dan)

Master Head Instructor
Black Belt Hall of Fame inductee
Sensei John McGonigle Sr. started his martial arts training at the age of 10. In American Shotokan Karate and received his Black Belt at age 16. Sensei received his 5th dan Black Belt in March of 1999. Sensei is also a member of the United States Chanbara Federation and Pennsylvania state representative. With over 30 years of experience Sensei John has dedicated his life to the martial arts and teaching his knowledge of the arts to others. In Sensei's own words,
"I have always seen myself as a martial artist and have tried to live my life as one, and would not be happier doing anything else".

"Click on the link below, to see Sensei John in action!"


Madison May McGonigle (1st Dan)
Little Ninjas Instructor
Madison started training at age 3 as a Little Ninja. Now year later has tackin over the roll as Little Ninjas Instructor. "As a teacher it is not only my job to teach my students how to defend themselves but also to have fun doing it."


"Click on the link below, to see Ms. Madison in action!"



John P. McGonnigle Jr. (1st Dan)
Assistant Instructor
John started his Martial Arts training at the age of 2 by mimicking his father's movements in his playpen.


"Click on the link below, to see Mr. John in action!"

  1. What does Martial Arts Lifestyle Center teach?We teach fundamentals of the Martial Arts by combining time-tested Eastern philosophy of Martial Arts with the modern approach of Western teaching philosophy. This results in a well-balanced program for adults and children that emphasizes pride, self-esteem, fitness and integrity!
  1. How do I know Martial Arts Lifestyle Center is the right school for me or my child?Come by for an introductory lesson and try it out! We offer a convenient location, flexible class schedules and you will learn from the best!
  1. Do I have to be in good shape before I start your classes?No. Our beginner program starts at a basic fitness level and we work you into better shape at your own pace!
  1. Why is Karate good for kids?Karate is a tremendous outlet for kids which allows them to develop the benefits of self-discipline, confidence, strength, coordination, safety and self-defense. Karate instruction is an excellent reinforcement of study techniques for school, and indeed, all aspects of life!
  1. Why is Karate good for adults?Karate is excellent for adults because it helps you to develop breath control, muscle tone, quick reflexes and agility, which can all lead to a new inner harmony and outer ability which will help you through all aspects of life. Plus the exercise and mental training will give you the confidence to know that you can defend yourself if necessary - Martial Arts has been the choice of wise men and women for over 2,000 years!
  1. Will your karate program help my child with his/her confidence and self-esteem?Yes. Child psychologists tell us that the best way to develop positive self-esteem in kids is to have them in activities that work toward goals. And when they work hard and achieve those goals, they should be rewarded for that achievement. That is exactly what our innovative program has been designed to do. The confidence and life lessons they learn in our program will then transfer to academics, other sports and activity!



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