After many frustrating years of trying to find the right activity for our son, we found United Studies of Self-Defense Belmont . . . and Sensei Linda!

Several years ago, when he was in 1st grade, we discovered our son had PDD-NOS, a high functioning form of autism. He looked like everyone else but every single day at least one thing would have us tumbling every which way. Of course, this diagnosis explained so much – why team sports were so hard for him, why he feared loud noises, why he resisted anything unexpected or out of his routine, why deal with others in unstructured situations made him uncomfortable and often disruptive. We still had a lot to figure out.

Then, out of the blue, he asked if he could try out the “free” lesson at USSD Belmont that was on a card he got during his school’s Discovery Day (where Linda had come to introduce Martial Arts to the school). The rest of the story is history – he jumped right in with private lessons and was so happy to find out how good he was. Linda and her staff took every effort to understand and respect how his mind works – some days are good ones and other are just “off” days. When his behavior is disrespectful, Linda appropriately addresses it and explains what is expected in her dojo. When he is frustrated or doesn’t want to try new moves, Linda and her team patiently encourage and devise strategies that get him over these typical autism-like hurtles. With all this, he quickly tested up the levels to purple belt with resulting self-esteem. More importantly, he trusts Linda and her staff who offer him a safe place away from home where he is understood, challenged, taught self-control, and gets a better awareness of how he is different and can still fit in. Even during his “off” times, when we think all is lost, Linda steps up with a smile, calmly tells us about the issue, and patiently encourages us and our son to stick with it.

We have never been so lucky as to have this chemistry for him in any activity or with any instructor.

Leslie Dymond Marks Belmont, CA March 2011

Was introduced to USSD by a young man during the "Night Out" event in Belmont. I am amazed at how much my daughter has picked up in a little under a year. She loves her training, and the one on one training once a week is a big plus. The trainers are great with my 5 year old, and very professional. They even offered a one day self defense class my wife took for 25.00. I believe this has been one of the best decisions we have made for our child.

Jimi L. Belmont

Linda is an amazing instructor! I've been attending for 5 years, and am very pleased with the school. I've studied other styles in other locations, and this school is a lot of fun. Linda is very good at modifying techniques for people of different body types, and explaining the practical applications. Her classes always leave me energized and upbeat.

They could totally use more space in the dojo, but this is the bay area, and they do pretty well at getting around those limitations. Also, the instructors are great with kids - I see a lot of them gain confidence and maturity through their study.

Alethea B. Belmont

Both of my kids have been taking private lessons at this location for the last 3 months. My son is 6 and my daughter is 3 and they both love it! We take private lessons with Sensei Linda and Evan. They are both amazing instructors. Sensei Linda is so patient with my 3 year old. The private lessons really do speed up the learning process. My son learned more here in one month compared to one year with the rec center. I highly recommend USSD.

Tiffany O. Belmont



Monday12:00PM - 8:00PM
Tuesday12:00PM - 8:00PM
Wednesday12:00PM - 8:00PM
Thursday12:00PM - 8:00PM
Friday1:00PM - 6:00PM
Saturday9:00AM - 1:00PM