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Teaching it all: Steel Wolf Karate offers a blend of martial arts to students

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | December 29, 2023 1:30 AM

MOSES LAKE — Like many, Robert Heale was involved in martial arts as a child; after decades away from the sport, Heale got back into it and used years of teaching to be able to open his own martial arts studio in Steel Wolf Karate.

“It was a natural progression for me and what was going on in my life,” Heale said. “Just trying to make improvements; I got my first professional job, I got married, I bought a house, I started losing weight. It just occurred to me that I always loved martial arts, and I hadn’t done it in decades.”

A former instructor at Freewind Martial Arts in Moses Lake, Heale opened Steel Wolf in late November 2022. He said opening his own studio was a means to teach his own blend of martial arts, incorporating aspects of karate and jiu-jitsu into lessons for students.

“I had been teaching martial arts here in Moses Lake since 2015, and I was really anxious to implement some of the modern-day techniques that some of my colleagues were using in other cities,” Heale said. “Develop our own personal defense style.”

Heale said most of Steel Wolf’s students have been children since opening, open to ages four and up, though some adults take classes there as well. Lessons in different martial arts forms are given over a multiple-week span, with each one building upon the last.

“We’ll work on karate skills, so basic kicking, punching, forms, self-defense techniques, then we’ll do a couple of weeks studying jiu-jitsu; groundwork, a little bit of weapons work in there to help keep the kids excited and focused,” Heale said. “Then we do a couple weeks of sparring to see how they’re applying it to that sport-fighting aspect of things.”

Along with teaching a mix of karate, jiu-jitsu and sparring, Steel Wolf students also learn traditional values of martial arts like respect, discipline, perseverance and focus.

“We like to think that we provide traditional values, which is something that we like to see from martial arts – the value system – but modern-day self-defense,” Heale said. “That’s why we incorporate the grappling, as well as the striking.”

With lessons lasting for weeks, Heale said he recommends students sign up for an annual plan to get the full grasp of what Steel Wolf has to offer. 

“We like people to understand that it does take an investment of time,” Heale said. 

Heale also added that he’s looking to begin adult classes.

“I’ve got a couple adults, and they actually prefer to train with their kids in our youth programs,” Heale said. “I’m really looking forward to getting a strong adult class formed.”

Heale said his own interest in martial arts began when he saw “The Karate Kid” as a child.

“That really piqued my interest,” he said with a laugh. “I did taekwondo for a little bit when I was around 10, and sadly — like a lot of people — I quit for a little bit. Then I came back in my 30s and got re-acquainted with martial arts and fell in love with it all over again.”

Those interested in signing up for classes at Steel Wolf Karate can do so on the dojo’s website.

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.


Steel Wolf Karate

2707 W. Broadway Ave. Unit C
Moses Lake, WA 98837
509-761-9583
MrHeale@SteelWolfKarate.com
steelwolfkarate.com

    Students work with bo staffs during a class at Steel Wolf Karate. The dojo’s owner, Robert Heale, said martial arts is a passion that he enjoys sharing with his students, regardless of age.