My daughter started taking lessons with Master Eric Versland and the other instructors at Legacy Karate in late 2012 through the Limerick Elementary After-School program. At the time she was only 6 years old, but had already been through numerous other extracurricular-type activities, including dance, gymnastics and others.
Until she started with Legacy, she hadn’t stuck with any of those activities for more than a couple months. Honestly, I was prepared for the same thing to happen with karate. Instead, she’d come home after the school program and demonstrate what she’d learned. Within a month or so, she was demanding to go to the gym in Royersford for additional practice time.
She passed her first test in the spring of 2013, and was honored as an “Outstanding Performer”. At the same time, we saw her becoming more outgoing, confident and resilient. These traits carried into other activities, as she began playing team sports such as basketball, softball and soccer. The discipline, structure and confidence she received at Legacy Karate became integral parts of her identity as an athlete, teammate and as an individual.
Towards the beginning of 2015, Master Versland challenged my daughter (almost 9 years old at the time) with an opportunity to pursue her green belt. Softball and soccer seasons had eaten into the time she spent on karate, and Master Versland provided the motivation she needed to focus on advancing. It worked—not only did she receive a green belt in Spring 2015, she was honored as a “Most Improved” student.
In three short years, my daughter has built countless memories and had many hours of fun learning at Legacy Karate. As a parent, I’m even happier about the confidence, strength and discipline she demonstrates as a result of her training.
I commend you Master V! You do so many things for such great charities! Glad there are good, unselfish role models for our children & grandchildren like you out there! Cheers!
Eric – It’s awesome to follow your FB page and see all of the lives you continue to touch. The skills you taught my son Brad and the impact you had on his young life have had a direct and positive impact on the amazing man he has become. Every student in your academy is blessed, man! Forever grateful!
I have studied martial arts for five years, in several different styles and at many dojangs. In particular, I have studied Tang Soo Do at four different schools. Legacy Karate Academy takes the study of martial arts and Tang Soo Do to a whole new level. I have never encountered a group of such skilled fighters, and Master Versland is exceptionally talented in both execution and instruction. While most masters leave training up to their black belts, Master Versland gives special care and attention to each and every student. He also aims to expand the curriculum to include important parts of other styles to supplement our training. I highly recommend Legacy if you are serious about martial arts or are looking to begin your training at a solid school.
-Chris (1st gup)
I will never forget the day I walked into your studio with my 26 pound 4-year- old in tow. Ben has always been high energy and very focused. When he was four, I was looking for an activity that could help funnel the energy and direct the focus. At that time, he was your ‘lightest, littlest, and youngest student’. What I liked most, however, is that you treated Ben like a ‘big guy’ and made him perform to your expectations and to the same high level as everybody else in the class. He was thrilled to be ‘just one of the group’ in a class and felt larger than life after each session, knowing that he accomplished some new moves and received approval from you.
Ben continued his training under your direction for the next 10 years. The training helped him in so many ways.
1. His training became an equalizer. Size is not an issue with Karate and as a black belt, Ben never worried about his size or weight. He is still smaller than his friends, but is a fierce competitor and is disciplined and methodical in all of his athletic endeavors. Much of that comes from the disciplined training and ‘exactness’ of form from your Karate instruction.
2. Ben has successfully competed in a variety of sports. Balance, strength, physical and mental toughness, self-discipline, focus and accountability are a ‘constant’ with him and are a direct result of his karate instruction. He is currently on the high school football team and the wrestling team and has adapted to the physical and mental demands with ease. He was well prepped from his years of training under your direction.
Ben is now 15. He respects you as an instructor, a Master and a friend. As a parents, Steve and admire how you made Ben realize that he, and he alone, is accountable for his success. In fact, his very ‘first’ individual trophy was earned at a Karate tournament when he was 7. I will never forget the look on his face when they called his name for as the first place winner. It was a very meaningful moment for him. He knew that he alone earned that one. That will be one of those ‘forever’ things in his memory chest.
Stephanie, Steve and Ben Schein
I have been training in Martial Arts for 30 years. I have also been a Police Officer for 15 years. Through my participation in those two areas I have had the opportunity to meet and train with some of the best and most respected trainers in the Martial Arts and Defensive Tactics community. I can honestly say that Master Versland is among one of the best. I have trained under Master Versland for almost ten years and consider it an honor and privilege to be one of his students. He is truly a master of his craft.
Dear Master Versland,
I am writing this letter of thanks to you for all that you have done for my family through Legacy Karate Academy. I did not imagine, when I brought Katie in 8 years ago, that she would still be training, and that my son who was 2 years old at the time would also join the Legacy family.
You have been wonderful with the kids. I can’t imagine training anywhere else. You and your students have been kind, motivating, supportive to the kids and us throughout the years. Karate has been wonderful for Katie. She has blossomed under your instruction. She feels at home when she walks into class. So many good friendships have been forged and she has learned so many important skills: persistence, patience, respect, honesty; I could go on and on. Ted has also gained much self-esteem by attending your classes. You have been very supportive of him and his medial issues. He has not had the best experiences in school and with your help, we’ve made it through another year. Karate has really helped with his ADD and low muscle tone as well as his social skills. He loves your class and wants to be a Tang Soo Do Master, just like you!
I have enjoyed my training as well as getting to know both you, your wife, Grace, and your kids. It’s been quite a journey, one that I plan to continue for years to come.
We appreciate all that you’ve given to us!
“I started at Legacy Karate Academy 8 years ago at the age of 45, wanting to get in shape and wondering if I was too old to be embarking on the road to my black belt. Master Versland showed me that it is never too late to start. He truly taught me that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. I’m 53 now, a second degree black belt working toward my third degree. Eric Versland is my friend and one of the best teachers I have ever had. Joining Legacy Karate Academy has been an amazing journey!”
I know Master Versland for about 7 years now. Both my kids attend his Gym for their Karate education. I have constantly seen improvements in my kids overall personality as a result of the karate instructions received from Master Versland. He is kind but also tough when needed with the kids, and deserves all the respect as a Karate Master.
I know we don’t often speak, but I do want to express my gratitude for what you do. Dylan speaks very highly of you and his focus and self confidence have vastly improved. I like the way you teach. Your leading by example is key to Dylan. Thank you for all your time and attention.
-Mark J. Murray-
I just want to tell you that you (and the girl that helps you) made Andrew’s day yesterday when he received that top performer medal. It’s his first “real” medal and he was telling and showing everyone last night. I can’t even put into words how excited he was. Little things mean so, so much to those kids. Thank you! I think you are incredible with those kids.
Legacy Karate Rocks!!!!!
All five members of my family have been training with Master Versland for the past 6 years, including when he was part of another organization. At the end of 2009, he re-opened his gym as Legacy Karate, and we couldn’t be happier with the changes. Master V is a wonderful teacher and mentor. All 3 of our children have not only learned karate, but respect, discipline and self-confidence as well. The school is well run and the instruction provided by Master V and his senior-level students is excellent.