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The martial arts and fitness business, located at Sherwood Plaza, will celebrate its 10th birthday in November.

PMG PHOTO: SCOTT KEITH - John Lacey is owner of MUSA Martial Arts in Sherwood.If you want to get fit, or perhaps learn the martial arts, MUSA Martial Arts in Sherwood is the place to meet up with a friend or neighbor and learn the art of self-defense.

MUSA, set to celebrate its 10th anniversary this November, offers instruction in taekwondo, hapkido and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. MUSA also offers group fitness classes.

Under the ownership of John Lacey, MUSA Martial Arts is located at Sherwood Plaza, a few steps from MudPuddles Toys and Books.

Describing the services he offers to folks from Sherwood and beyond, Lacey said, "Taekwondo is a traditional Korean martial art, the same as hapkido. It's a great sport."

Lacey continued, "To complete the school, we also offer self-defense-style Brazilian jiu-Jjtsu to round out all the students' techniques. They have the stand-up, the kicking, the punching; they have the sports elements; and then for self-defense purposes, they can join our Brazilian jiu-jitsu class and pick up on some ground fighting techniques."

At MUSA, women's self-defense programs are offered as well as adult programs in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Lacey notes that taekwondo is a competition sport, with a sporting element.

Many age groups can participate at MUSA. For example, Little Warriors is a class offered for 3- to 5-year-olds.

"Little Warriors caters to their shorter attention spans," Lacey explained. "Basically, it goes over the fundamental stuff, such as kicking and punching. It gets them used to following directions."

Lacey added, "Hapkido and jiu-jitsu are adult classes and that's going to be geared more toward self-defense purposes."

Describing martial arts, Lacey said, "Especially in today's world, martial arts gives you an area to develop as a person more than anything else."

Martial arts truly changed Lacey's life.

Lacey said he came from poverty, moved from California and discovered martial arts in Beaverton.

"It kept me out of trouble," he said. "I just persevered, and then it saved me."

Coming up on 10 years in business, Lacey is especially proud of how he is able to help youngsters in the Sherwood community.

"This is my life," said Lacey.

He hopes he can help kids make a difference, provide them some tools, and keep them on the straight and narrow.

"That to me is the greatest blessing, all these kids," he said. "It's crazy. I see kids I taught when they were little kids. They still call me Master Lacey. it just makes me feel like I'm doing something right."

As to the success of MUSA, Lacey gives a great deal of credit to his wife, Shannon, who is a black belt.

"My wife is the main force behind this," Lacey said. "She's the energy for everything. She has really been the boost and the support to help make this grow."

Lacey continued, "From the beginning, from the get go, she was the one who said I could do it. She was the one who believed in me. She's such a strong force and a great teacher. That's why she excels in teaching those fitness classes."

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