Our Staff

Avi Rome Program Director and Head Instructor

Master Avi Rome, a fourth-degree black belt in Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do, has twenty-three years martial arts experience, fifteen as an instructor.  As a different learner herself, she came to discover the ability of martial arts training to build confidence, improve focus, and challenge self-imposed limitations, all within a supportive community.

Master Rome has worked with a range of special needs populations as a camp counselor, leisure coach, and respite and recreational services provider.  She has conducted workshops for both Arlington and Fairfax Counties, including: fitness samplers for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, wheelchair self-defense for young adults with cerebral palsy, and street smarts/self-defense for teen girls with intellectual disabilities.

In an effort to combine her long-standing love of teaching Tae Kwon Do with her passion for working with people with special needs, she pursued a degree in Integrative Studies at George Mason University with a concentration in Creative Arts and Therapy, drawing on course work in Psychology, Recreational Therapy, Physical Education, Special Education, and Martial Arts History and Philosophy.

In 2008, Master Rome joined the nascent adaptive martial arts program at Jhoon Rhee in Falls Church, headed by Master Chun Rhee. When she moved to Jhoon Rhee, Arlington, the adaptive program moved with her, where it is now entering its fifth year.  She continues to work as a full-time instructor teaching traditional classes and heading the Adaptive TKD Program, as well as serving on the Consulting Board of the Adaptive Martial Arts Association.

 


Instructional Assistants: a two-way learning process...

Just as the students learn from their teachers, those helping with the classes are encouraged to “see through the students’ eyes” and learn as much as they can from their interactions with them.

Assistants who volunteer with the program are students from traditional classes who vary in age, sex, and rank.  They are personally selected by Ms. Rome after being observed in and outside of their classes for certain skill sets, including an understanding of basic techniques and body mechanics, creativity, patience, and situational flexibility.  White through black belts, and ten through sixty-year olds alike, assist with the program on an equal footing.  Like their pupils, each assistant has their own identified strengths and each continues to strive for improvement.

In order to work toward these areas of growth Adaptive Program Staff attend regularly scheduled workshops where they learn new teaching strategies, develop problem-solving skills, and increase their knowledge of the populations they work with.  Through the use of a multi-sensory communication approach drawing on the three basic styles of learning (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic), they are able to target their instructional approach to maximize the success of each individual student.