The Open Space Martial Arts

The Open Space Martial Arts

5.0 (7)
1 employee
5 years in business

About this pro

At The Open Space Martial Arts, we want to give you the tools to make your way confidently and safely through your life. We think that your safety, health, wellbeing, and goals are things worth working for!

You can’t train in the martial arts the way we do without increasing your levels of fitness, health, grace, strength, confidence, discipline, focus, community, and self-defense ability. The martial arts aren’t just about kicking and punching. They are about being a better person, having a good moral compass, building a work ethic, and being comfortable in your own skin: calm, collected, and confident. They are about being a part of a community of martial artists who support each other, want each other to succeed, and who understand that we all improve together. They are about building healthy, resilient, self-esteem and living your best life.

And should your personal safety or the safety of your loved ones be put at risk, martial arts are about knowing that you have learned the skills to handle the problem. We teach kicking, punching, grappling, throws, and joint-locks, yes. But we also teach verbal de-escalation, positive decision-making, threat assessment, and the ethics and morality of TaeKwon-Do’s Student Oath and Tenets.

Our Master Instructor has been training in the martial arts for over 25 years, coming up through the nationally acclaimed and award-winning Kick Drugs Out of Alliance program. He holds a 5th-Degree black belt in Traditional TaeKwon-Do, certified through the United States Kido Federation (USKF), and has spent significant time training in Yang-family T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Hapkido, and tactical self-defense. He is a member of the 2013 and 2018 classes of the USKF Black Belt Hall of Fame, has competed on the Disney Open Tournament circuit, has held state and national rankings through the Professional Karate Commission, and has led The Open Space Martial Arts to back-to-back recognition as the USKF Small School of the Year for 2019 and 2020.

More information can be found at

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I like seeing someone come in with a problem or limitation, put forth the time, attention, and energy needed to overcome that limitation, and then seeing the look on their face the moment they succeed at doing the thing.

My job is about setting people up for success. It is about giving them the tools that they need in order to set meaningful goals, break those down into managable pieces, and then work through them until they can do something that they didn't think was possible before. 

I love watching people grow and develop into the people that they have the potential to be.

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Homeworth, OH 44634
Email verified
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7 Reviews


  • Melissa Becker

    My son has learned so much and loves attending. The instructor is patient and kind and does great job at keeping his focused.

  • Dennis Kempthorne

    I like the teaching style and patience Ben has. He is very thorough.

  • Kayleigh Kriss

    The instructor is great! As an adult student he was able to work with me through any limitations I was dealing with (i.e. sore muscles, bad knees, etc.). He is also wonderful working with children and is patient as they learn new techniques but also knows how to push all his students to be the best they can be. Students not only learn martial arts but also integrity and just overall how to be a better person. I would highly recommend Open Space Martial Arts!

  • Courtney Weatherspoon

    Master Thompson is very attentive and patient with his students, especially the younger ones. He has always maintained the utmost professionalism, respect, and goes above and beyond to keep a safe and healthy space for his students during this pandemic.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Every new student comes in with a problem that they want to solve. Some already know what the problem is, some have a vague uneasiness or discontent with their life as it is. My job is to identify what the problem is, and meet them on their level of engagement to work towards a solution.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

5th-Degree Black Belt, Traditional TaeKwon-Do, 23 years of training.

8 years training Yang Family T'ai Chi Ch'uan.

Reality-based self-defense training comes from law-enforcement instructors over 20 years.

How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching after getting my 1st-degree black belt at age 16 as a part of regular class instruction. As I spent more time doing it, I learned that giving people life skills and tools to feel comfortable navigating the world was something I enjoyed doing and was good at doing. I can't give it up.

What types of students have you worked with?

Ages 5-75, all sizes and builds, all levels of health and fitness. If you are a person, I have probably worked with someone like you.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Recently, we had a fairly-standard test. Students going up for their next belt. Now, our tests are hard, and they are cumulative. You have to know everything for the next rank that you needed to know for the last one, plus the new skills, and you have to do EVERYTHING better.

This particular test had two students in particular on the floor. One was a 70-year-old Vietnam vet with a bad hip, testing for his first intermediate rank, and one was a young lady of 9 years old, up for rank for the first time, who has spina bifida and whose parents were told, while she was still in utero, that she would never walk. Thanks to some surgery, she can, in fact, walk. And thanks to some hard work and persistence, she can throw a mean front-kick!

Both of them brought their a-game, overcame the obstacles they were set to, impressed the entire panel of test judges, and passed with flying colors.

I like giving my students the tools they need to succeed, watching them put forth the time, attention, and energy TO succeed, and then seeing them reach their goals.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Have an idea of the problem you're looking to solve. If you're looking to be a pro-level cage fighter, ask them if they can help you do that. If you want to be a Martial ARTIST, weaving your body gracefully through space, ask if they can help you do that. If you want to be able to fight on the street in a plain-clothes, no-rules, self-defense scenario, ask about that. We don't all do the same thing, and finding an instructor who matches well with you is more important than finding a particular style or set of letters after someone's name.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

"Why am I asking for this type of instruction?"
"What am I hoping to get out of this?"
"Why am I asking for this at this moment in time?"
"How do I think this teaching will go? What is my vision?"