CHL Logo

What our student are saying about us:

May 2016
Alex and Alan P.

Hi. My name is Alex P. I have been in CHL for 5 years. I also have a brother who has been in CHL for the same period of time. I am a second blue belt. CHL has done many things for me like how to defend myself against a robber or a bully at school. CHL has been great part of my life and always will be. One of my favorite parts of being in CHL is all the self defense and being with a great community. CHL has had a huge impact on me and my family. In CHL I have learned how to be more calm in a stress full situation. I have met a lot of wonderful people during this time. There is so many things that I like in CHL but some of my most favorite things are , kata, one steps, and Krav Maga. One step is like sparing but your only taking one step and it show you what you can do with only one step. Kata is very interesting because it is like your in a fight with multiple people in it and when you are the only one fighting back. Krav Maga is also exciting because it show you what to do if so one pointed a gun at you . Karate teaches everyone how to protect and defend in a serious case and how to deal in stress full situation. That is how CHL has impacted my life.

Hi my name is Alan P. and I have been in CHL for 5 years. I am a second blue belt and my bother Alex is also second blue. CHL has done a lot for and my family. I have a brother and he has been in CHL for the same time as I. My favorite part is that every one is very friendly. I have learned to defend my self from people that is trying to hurt my. CHL will always be apart of my life. One of my favorite things to do at CHL is kata because you practice your move and on each one it get a little more challenging and that what make it fun. Kata is a imagery fight that is going on when someone is attacking you from the front and back. Another thing I like to do at karate is self defense because when someone is trying to hurt me I can do the self defend myself from a attacker. Last thing I like to do is Krav Mega because I think it is the most fun thing to do. Krav Mega is another way of defending myself and I can protect myself. Learning new things by different teachers let's my ask questions so I can learn new things and so I can do the right moves instead of doing it wrong. At the center for humane living has taught me many things. I have made many friends at CHL. CHL has done many things for my family and all the people support everyone and helps them. Those are the things about CHL that I like about it and all my favorite things to do at CHL.

April 12, 2016
Diana M.

My family discovered the Center for Humane Living (CHL) two years ago when our son, then 4 years old, expressed an interest in karate. We had visited a few other martial arts studios, but for one reason or another they did not feel like a fit for us. When a colleague told me about CHL, it sounded too good to be true - traditional martial arts training with a philosophical foundation where families are encouraged to participate together. But how much was this going to cost for our family of four? Oh, it’s free. Excuse me, what? How is that possible? Well it turns out the husband and wife co-founders of the non-profit organization, Drs. Michael Foley and Lisa Dado, have a philanthropic mission to inspire all people to live peaceful and compassionate lives through martial arts training. Beginning with their own children and friends, they came up with a brilliant pay-it-forward model in which all students train for free and once they become black belts they have the opportunity to give back through teaching. With CHL operating for more than two decades now, there is a multitude of amazing black belt instructors offering classes throughout the Valley.

I enjoy recalling our first CHL class at the Foley Dojo, beginning with a walk across the stepping-stones that read “please leave your ego at the door.” Dr. Foley greeted us outside and taught us the proper way to bow while looking each other in the eye. Entering the dojo dressed in normal work out clothes, I felt a bit out of place among the other students in their white uniforms with colorful belts. However, any feelings of discomfort quickly dissolved as we were warmly welcomed into class and our training began. We spent most of the hour learning basic blocks and strikes in the foundational front stance, a position that represents our stance in life. My thighs felt like jelly by the end of class, which concluded with a Zen story about tigers and a strawberry. The story reminded us of the importance of being present in each and every moment. My husband and I left knowing we would all return soon. And we have, again and again, for over two years. Slowly but surely the awkward front stance has become second nature. The blocks, strikes, and kicks have gained coordination and power. I have watched our children, as well as myself, grow in physical and emotional confidence even in the face of constructive criticism.

My husband, daughter, and I will soon be testing for our green belts. This test is a transition to the intermediate level of training. While my heartbeat quickens at the thought of sparring, I know our caring teachers will guide us through each stage with skill and compassion as they consistently have in every class. Within this safe environment, I am learning to face challenge with courage. My heart is filled with gratitude for CHL, including all of the black belt instructors and each of the students. CHL is a family; a family we are so blessed to be a part of.

Diana M.


June 11, 2014: Betty Wallace

I am starting my second year as a member-student at CHL. More stories come to mind than can be told in this limited space, but here are some of my favorites. Sa Bum Nim Mike Foley showing a 4-year old girl how to get away from an attacker. He's holding on to one of her wrists and asks her to get away. Obviously she can't, at this moment. He queries the class, what is the strongest muscle in the body. We toss out a lot of guesses, but none suffice. At last, he tells us it is the jaw, because we chew and talk a lot, using it. "Bite me." he says to the child, "bite my hand". She won't do that. He plops down on the floor to her level and again asks her to bite his fist. She is hesitant. "Well, I'll bite your fist." he says. He gives her a nip on the fist. Does that hurt?" She shakes her head yes. "Now you bite my fist." She does and he yelps like a wounded warrior. Sa Bum Nim Mike might have just saved her life with that lesson. A lesson even I can use which some day, as well as the rest of the class.

SBN Lisa is teaching a class. One student is clearly not giving his best effort in the Kata. She stops, and talks to him. And I paraphrase: "I know you can do it. I've seen you really do a great Kata. Maybe some people think you can't do It, but I believe in you. Now I want you to show everyone how you can do a great Kata. The class starts the Kata anew and the boy seems to age beyond his years and aces the Kata, one of the best in the class….all from a few carefully chosen, wise words of wisdom and belief in a student.

I learn so many exciting things that I can pass along to my acquaintances outside of class. One is how to hold crucial conversations, ones where we can have some good discussions and solutions, rather than ranting and raving. Others are how to correct an error tactfully, without demeaning anyone; self defense moves I can use to enable me to get away from the perpetrator., and how to make everyone feel important, to listen, to think.

Making new friends and meeting new CHL members comes to fruition when I volunteer for CHL's charitable causes. It gives me more time to get to know people better, in addition to giving back to the community and CHL. My career has been in real estate, working mostly with my tongue in managing, teaching, representing myself in court, etc. I stepped out of my area of expertise when I entered the field of martial arts. My hand-foot-eye-leg-head elbow coordination is improving. I've lost weight and toned up, my self confidence raised sky high. I really enjoy watching the family-efforts, one or more parents/partners and children attending class together. And….I know I am safe—the battle is fought on the training field, not in the arena.

Betty Wallace
Aka The Next Karate Kid



(This letter was presented to 24 Hour Fitness, Scottsdale in April, 2012)
On behalf of our family, I would like to thank you for allowing The Center For Humane Living to utilize your facility. My husband has been a member at 24 Hour Fitness and discovered that there were karate classes offered for children and families at your location. For the past year we have been searching for a karate school to enroll both of our children in. With our busy work schedules we were looking for a karate school that offered classes on the weekends and that was affordable for our family. The opportunity that The Center For Humane Living and 24 Hour Fitness has given our family has been priceless. We are all able to enjoy physical activity as a family. My husband continues to work out at your facility while our children and myself partake in The Center For Humane Living's Karate class. We hope that the partnership between 24 Hour Fitness and The Center For Humane Living continues for years to come as we look forward to continue to be members of both establishments for years to come as well. Thank you again from all of us for your continued support for what The Center For Humane Living has to offer not only our family but others as well.

Michelle Milona