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Achieve your goals at V.I.P. Martial Arts Academy

Back in the thick of the pandemic, Joe McBurney was waiting to get a haircut in The Paddocks Shopping Center.
It was just as everything was opening up, so the wait was an hour and a half, and he had some time to kill. He decided to go on a walk and came across a vacant store front just down from where he was going to get haircut. He wasn’t planning on it, but the spark of an idea came to him.
“I thought this place would make a perfect studio,” said McBurney.
He had taught martial arts for years, and only occasionally thought about opening his own studio. But this place was a great spot. He called the landlord, looked around, and the rest was history. V.I.P. Martial Arts Studio was born.
Since January 2021, McBurney has brought all his knowledge obtained in nearly 30 years of training to the residents of Mt. Juliet. He started his journey in 1992 in Tae Kwon Do, searching for a realistic self defense training. That initial search led him to become a 1st degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with 18 years experience, a certified instructor in Muay Thai Kickboxing with 25 years experience, 1st Degree Black Belt in Shorin Ryu Karate with eight years experience and a 1st Degree Black Belt in USJA Jiujitsu with four years experience. In addition to all of his training, McBurney fought 10 MMA fights, and finished with a 9-1 record. He did this so he could understand how his training would work in an actual fight, and he could pass that knowledge onto others that want to go on a similar path.
“I’ve been in there, I know what it’s like,” said McBurney about his professional fights.
McBurney loves teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai Kickboxing. He said that a large number of the MMA fighters are trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu because it most translates to the skills you would actually need in actual self defense scenario. He offers both those classes right now for adults and children, as well as Wing Chun.
“I love teaching,” said McBurney. “I want to be the guy helping people achieve their goals, whether it be fitness or self-defense.”
McBurney said that at many studios you pay a fee, and you are only allowed a certain number of classes you can take. He said he doesn’t understand that at all, when he was starting, he wanted to be in a class five days a week.
“I want everyone to come in as much as possible,” said McBurney.
V.I.P. Martial Arts Academy is now hosting summer camps, and have started registering for an after school program that will include school pickup. Kids will be picked up from school, have time to do some homework, socialize and play with friends, then finish it off with a class. Also, McBurney said he will be offering free classes for the month of July for any kids interested in attending classes.
For more information, go to They are located at 300 Pleasant Grove Road, Suite 350. You can also contact them by phone at (615)587-8290. They are also on Facebook and Instagram.