Draco Martial Arts | Homewood, IL
Master Richard Keiss, owner, and operator of Draco Academy’s martial arts studio, didn’t grow up learning martial arts. In fact, it took Keiss a lot of time and dedication to earn the title of “Master” and become a successful business owner. Master Keiss’ passion for martial arts began at a young age when he would read books on the subject and practice moves on his older sister for fun. He wouldn’t go on to pursue and hone his skills until after being in the military in 1985 under the direction of a Korean Grand Master he befriended, Grand Master I.S. Kim. Keiss started practicing with Grand Master Kim two to three times a week, dedicating his time towards reaching his goal of receiving a black belt. It took Keiss nearly 3 and half years to achieve this goal, but at the age of 32 he finally earned his black belt. This is what Master Keiss wants to stress about martial arts. It can be started at any age; all it takes is the dedication and commitment.
Master Keiss’ dedication and commitment to his passion for martial arts is what eventually lead him to own his own Homewood martial arts academy and earn his Master title. Master Keiss opened the first Draco Martial Arts Academy in 1997 in Homewood, Illinois. As his Hapkido and Taekwondo school and teachings grew in popularity, the location became too small and Master Keiss’ needed to expand. He came across an old bowling alley that would fit all of his Homewood clientele and transformed it to what is now home to Draco Martial Arts Academy. Over the years Draco Martial Arts Academy has produced many state champions, Masters and teachers.
Master Keiss is dedicated to sharing his self-taught ethics and values to his students, knowing that martial arts is far more than just a skill set to aid in self-defense. He’s organized and systematized a remarkable martial arts curriculum, making a positive difference in the lives of over 2,000 children, adolescents and adult students since opening the doors of Draco Academy.
Why Martial Arts?
Are you interested in attending a Hapkido or Taekwondo school in Homewood, IL? Or as Master Keiss likes to put it – Are you interested in having FUN? Martial arts can be taught to any age, size or gender. In addition to being fun, there are a lot of other benefits. For adults, martial arts are a great way to improve cardiovascular health and relieve stress. For teens, martial arts’ helps to focus their energy and teach them how commitment produces positive results. For kids, martial arts’ teaches discipline and provides a positive learning space. The confidence gained from martial arts will transform a person, helping them to feel better about themselves. This will reflect in their personal life; improving one’s work, school, family and social life.
“Martial arts is more like music than throwing a ball,” says Master Keiss, “It’s usually associated with sports, but it’s more of an ‘art’ than ‘baseball.’ You have to practice regularly, there’s a lot of muscle memory involved – that’s what gives you the skill of the effortless, fluid movement.”