Qualified for San Jose!


Master Smith and Master Woodson, along with Milos Mijalovic and Oliver Eisler has qualified for a spot at the USA Taekwondo Nationals in San Jose, California! We would like to thank everyone who cheered us on and a SPECIAL THANK YOU to Carli Rodriquez-Feo for coming out to support and help out the competitors! IMG_1091 20140301_100748

Barre Body is now being offered at On The Mat Sports!

barre body logo

What is Barre Body®?

Barre Body® is a workout created by dancers for everyone!  This invigorating workout targets the upper body, abdominals, seat and thighs.  In a ballet-inspired class set to a mix of upbeat music, students use a variety of props to promote the development of long, lean muscles like those associated with the dancer’s body—giving them that “barre body” look.

What are the benefits of Barre Body®?

  • shapes and tones muscles without the added bulk
  •  increases cardiovascular fitness and stamina
  • challenges coordination and balance while enhancing posture
  • creates longer, leaner and more flexible muscles
  • heightens body awareness and inspires a mind-body connection
  • is offered in an efficient 45-50 minute full body workout
  • serves as a great stress reliever
  • AND it’s fun!!!

Instructor:  Mrs. Lisa Owen, Level 1 Barre Body® Teacher Certified

Schedule:  Monday – Friday at 9AM; Saturday at 8:30AM; *Available for additional weekday/end classes upon request. You must reserve a spot at least one hour prior to start of class by texting Mrs. Owen at 301-767-6308 or emailing her at griffin@onthematsports.com .  Online sign-up coming soon.  No classes during Spring Break, 4/14-4/18.  If you require further information, please do not hesitate to email and inquire!!

Cost:   $15/class

Best of London: Terrence Jennings

by Lisa Griffin

I hope everyone tuned into the 2012 Summer Olympics and were as amazed as I was with the spectacular talent and the level of athleticism on display.   I had the great privilege to travel to London to watch and support the US Taekwondo Olympic Team, in particular, local athlete, Terrence “TJ” Jennings, in his pursuit of the gold medal in men’s featherweight (68kg/150 lbs.).  I marveled at it all.

For those of you who missed the coverage, here is a short summary of the medal journey for Terrence Jennings.  It was definitely not an easy start for the Alexandria, Va., native.  Despite putting up a strong fight in the gladiator-like setting of the ExCel Center, Jennings lost his Olympic debut on Thursday to the No. 1-ranked competitor in the world, Turkey’s Servet Tazegul, 8-6. This was a difficult disappointment to start off the games, but Jennings remained focused and determined to chase his dreams. He then worked his way through the repechage bracket, beating Ukraine’s Hryhorii Husarov, 3-2, to get within striking distance of the bronze, where he would meet Diego Silva from Brazil. Jennings got out to an early 4-0 lead and maintained the lead late into the final round. But with 20 seconds left, Silva landed a head shot on Jennings to tie the score at 5. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Jennings made one attempt to win it– a twisting kick to the head–and did, 8-5.

The mental fortitude and indomitable spirit of 25 year-old Jennings to overcome the loss of his first round and continue to ”pursue the bronze as if it were the gold” was an impressive display of intensity and character.  But it comes as no surprise…. I see it every day… the great sacrifice and work ethic of our students here at On The Mat and the local talent that trains in our facility late at night and on weekends.  Whether you are in pursuit of your most fit self; mastery of a new sport; the esteemed black belt or even an Olympic gold medal, you are confronted with challenges, setbacks and even defeat.  But the ability to pivot, push back and overcome is what sets you apart and makes you as much of an inspiration as our Olympic heroes.

Judging by the remarks/conversations of those present that day—a very unscientific sampling– most of the crowd had limited, if any, exposure to the electrifying sport of taekwondo.   Without a doubt, they left with a new-found appreciation; taekwondo would no longer be viewed as a “marginal” sport.  Indeed, The Editorial line of the Guardian newspaper read, “Britain has a new favourite sport in taekwondo.”  With stellar performances from Team GB’s Jade Jones, “deliberate kicking to the head has never been more popular.”  Terrence Jennings—well done—you and your peers have elevated the sport of taekwondo to a newly captive worldwide audience, and for that we are grateful.

Have you passed by this hogu that hangs in the front office of On The Mat Sports and wondered whose signature is on it????  Well, if you look closely it is that of Terrence Jennings, 2012 US Olympic Bronze Medalist…so cool.

Sherman Nelson, US Olympic TKD Coach; Master Woodson; Terrence Jennings, Olympic Bronze Medalist; and Master Smith


Even more international

On The Mat Sports International is working in concert with the State Department’s Sports Diplomacy Program to host a Junior National Tae Kwon Do team from Iraq. Some members of the US Junior National Team will be participating as well so it should be a truly memorable experience for everyone involved.  Their training, 7:30 p.m  on June 11 and June 13, will be open to the public.

Update June 18th:

Korea’s Yonhap News Agency published a story on last week’s training and it has been picked up by several Korean news papers and Tae Kwon Do sites.

We love pictures

Pictures show the fun we have, the determination of our students, and their joy when they make progress.  Take a look at the pictures we put up on our Facebook page.  While you’re there, don’t forget to like us!  If you have pictures you’d like to see posted, drop off a CD or email them to us.  If you post pictures on your own page, let folks know they can find us at http://onthematsports.com — it helps us build our community.