Made in the 956: Valley local owns martial arts studio in Harlingen
Anastacia Ortiz has had a love for martial arts ever since she was a kid, but it wasn't until she got older that she actually got into the sport herself.
“When I got older and had my first son, we wanted to help him build confidence and so I said, ‘Why don't we put him in taekwondo?’” Ortiz said. “And we got him in that and the first day I remember sitting there being like, 'This is so exciting; I want to do it. I want to do it. I want to do it.' And I felt like a little kid. I think by the end of the month, his first four weeks, I had enrolled myself."
Ortiz loved it so much, she even got certified to become an instructor.
"It's almost unfortunate for me that I started so late, but also a blessing because my mindset was much different. It wasn't just about wanting to kick and punch all cool like the guys on TV, but also about helping people grow," Ortiz said.
Now, she's helping others in her very own studio, Metamorphix in downtown Harlingen. The lessons start young.
"So, for the pre and early elementary-age kids, like 4 to 6, we're learning coordination,” Ortiz said. “We're still working on learning how to share. Taking turns. Social skills. And then mid-elementary to late elementary, now we're building skill and focusing a little more on technique, focus, physical skills, strength and endurance. Going into middle school, continue working on physical skills, but also leadership skills, character development and that type of thing."
Ortiz even launched a new program for new moms and their kids.
"The mommy and me, the mom is in there. The babies are toddlers; 18 months to about 3 or 4. The moms help hold the paddles for them. We're learning punches and kicks. It's also a lot of coordination and focus, but with games and play to make it fun for them."
But no matter the age, the overall message and motto for Metamorphix is simple: Change.
"We also talk a lot about character development and courage is a big thing we talk about. Courage is not the absence of fear, it's having that same fear and finding a way through it. Metamorphix is a wellness program. It's a fitness program and a mentorship program. Martial arts is the vehicle that we use to navigate our way through all of these skills that we talked about. Building character, social skills, physical skills and so we also want to promote an overall wellness of not just the body, but the mind and spirit, too."
Anastacia Ortiz: Made in the 956.