Soon after Joe and Gaylene Turner got married in 2000, Joe suggested that he and the couple’s three boys take up martial arts as a bonding experience for the newly blended family.
It did not take long for them to become passionate about the challenging nature and fitness benefits of martial arts.
The idea of taking their hobby to the next level did not hit Joe until he was sitting in an airport waiting to catch a flight to another business meeting. Traveling was a major part of his duties as an executive for a global technology firm.
“I was ready to make a change,” said Joe, a martial arts master. “I wanted to open a martial arts studio. The family was all in.”
At first, the Turners partnered with friends in a studio in Bedford. But when a new shopping center near their home in Flower Mound opened in 2002, they seized the opportunity to establish Turners Martial Arts Studio.
Demand for martial arts proved to be strong in Flower Mound. Gaylene recalled bringing fliers to a festival and signing up 50 students on the spot.
The Turners have turned their studio into a thriving success and a true family business. Joe is president; Gaylene runs the daily operations; and their youngest son, Jaymes VanDolah, is head instructor.
The business expanded its space and added a chiropractic treatment room after Joe became a chiropractor.
The studio was one of the first in the area to offer a blended approach to martial arts, incorporating judo, jiujitsu and others.
Turners Martial Arts offers classes for children as young as 4 and up to adults.
Joe said what sets the studio apart from others is its focus on values and life skills, such as honesty, integrity, self-control and discipline rather than on tournament competition.
“We feel that developing these important life skills are so much more important than earning trophies,” he said.