UPDATE: Thanks For Voting, Results Coming Soon

Take our poll and leave reviews to let us know in the comments which Martial Arts school comes is your favorite.

Martial arts isn't just about kids breaking boards with their hands (though that might be useful someday).

So where does your child take classes on Mercer Island, and why do you think it’s the best?

Vote for your favorite in the poll below:

And click on the links above and rate the business on its Patch Place listing. It's a good idea to leave a review because in our scoring system, good reviews and comments can break a tie.

Ties will be broken based on comments here and reviews on the Patch Place listing, so please explain your choice.

The contest closes at 9 a.m. Friday, and we’ll announce the winner later that day. 

Your favorite Martial Arts school not on Mercer Island? Check our Readers' Choice poll going on for . Don't see your favorite place? Tell us in the comments section. 

Because our poll is not scientific, it is not the sole consideration in choosing a winner. If you want your favorite martial arts school to win, you need to leave a review on its Patch Place.

The winning school will be based on a point system in which poll results and Patch Place reviews are weighted equally. In the event of a tie, the Patch editor will determine the winner based on comments and reviews on Patch Places. For full contest details, see the attached PDF with the rules. Please vote only once per survey, per Patch.

MeLisa Turcott Strongheart March 22, 2012 at 04:55 AM
There is also the Kendo group. I think they still meet on the island. I have always heard good things about them
Kendall Watson March 22, 2012 at 05:32 AM
Hi MeLisa, Darn! I didn't know about them. Could you send me their info, if you have it? Thanks!
MeLisa Turcott Strongheart March 22, 2012 at 06:07 AM
Kendall, here is the website for the Kendo club: http://www.cascadekendokai.org/
Nicholas Thornton-Jack March 22, 2012 at 08:54 AM
I have studied the art of self-defense all across the states. I began in Washinton. Studying in Ballard, Seattle for 12 years earning my 1st degree black belt at age 14. now 25 I have studied in Montana, Hawaii, North Dakota for 6 years, Minnesota, Alaska, and now Wisconsin. Seeing many schools whom, like this list excell in teaching our youth self-defense, respect, obedience, and discipline, but it is the art of teaching loyalty, confidence, compassion, and confidnece that sets Mercer Island Martial Arts apart from avery tight pack. This is a place where from a young age, and a seasoned curriculum proven to work where even I at 5 was tought to build my true confidence in my body and mind with honesty in my heart and strength in my body. To keep frienships and build a strong and happy community. The anti bullying campaign that Wells and Strongheart are so passionate about demonstrates their commitment tonot only the safety of the youth in the Mercer Island community but also around the country. Mercer Islnad Martial Arts gets my vote.
Jessica Merly March 22, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Four words: Mercer Island Martial Arts! They are amazing!!
Kendall Watson March 22, 2012 at 08:18 PM
This Martial Arts Poll is really going down to the wire!!!! Only four votes separate the top two! Anyone can vote in our poll — you don't have to be a parent or a student at any of the schools, just someone with an opinion! Having fun or like what you see here? Please, don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/MercerIslandPatch (or follow us on Twitter: ttps://twitter.com/#!/MercerIsePatch ) Voting closes at 9 a.m. Friday!
Victoria Harris March 22, 2012 at 08:51 PM
The irony of Mercer Island Martial Arts is that the philosophy .... how people train and are trained .... how we treat each other ..... what we learn from, and teach (in that order) the kids .... all contributes to world peace. Imagine that! A martial arts studio that promotes world peace - even without specifically mentioning it! The beliefs of Masters Strongheart and Wells in terms of community contribution, are immediately evident on the website (mercerislandmartialarts.com). But its not just their belief - its the belief of every single student, family unit, couple or single person that comes in and participates. And all are welcome - truly helped to understand that they have a valuable, unique contribution to make. Even if I could tell you my personal story .... or the story of my family and their involvement with Mercer Island Martial Arts, you still might not really understand. To do that, I would really encourage you to come thru the doors and watch the smiles .... the respect ..... the effort that is made. Why? Because to reach for personal goals at Mercer Island Martial Arts is to do so in community - which makes all of us stronger .... and the world a much better place. Respectfully, Victoria Harris MD, MPH
Kevin March 22, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I really love all the activity in the training at Karate West. In the youth program we get to build skills with fun games as well as hard work. I've been training for four years and I'm lovin' it!
Josu Jackson March 22, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Wow, as I'm reading all these comments I feel truly blessed to be in this great community of Martial Art Leaders that care so much about our children, families and community. This is what good teaching and leading is about in the Martial Arts world. I never knew that working in the Martial Arts field how much it would enhance my life in every way. Koodos to all the Masters, instructors, owners and volunteers that have made this world a much better place. I have learned so much under the teachings of Master Strongheart and Master Wells... I Thank you so much for being who you are and following your hearts. Your dedication is unparallelled, your knowledge is unbeatable, your training has inspired me to make not only to make myself better but the world around us. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you You have made the BEST Martial Arts Dojang I've ever seen.
Rupert Dean March 22, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Karate West is amazing!!
Kitty March 22, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Karate West is the very best on Mercer Island - and in the whole northwest! Their teachers are phenomenal (we love Sensei Andrew!) and their program has help our family in more ways than I can express here. KARATE WEST is the best in their field!!
kori March 23, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Z Ultimate is the ultimate & gets my vote!
Geoff March 23, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Hats off the the entire Karate West organization for making such a difference in the Mercer Island community.
RJ March 23, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Karate West is my favorite place to be on the Island.
Izzy March 23, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Mercer Isalnd Martial Arts is the best!! Everyone is so friendly!!
Tina M. March 23, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Karate West is a school of excellence. The Instructors receive top-notch training and are very skilled in working with the students. Karate West is a place where students of all ages can come and train in a warm, friendly, fun, loving and caring environment. The owners & all the Karate West Instructors have helped to create a family atmosphere which sets them apart from all other martial arts schools. It is a place where students will learn various skills that will help them succeed in life. My family is blessed to be a member of the Karate West Family and we cannot thank them enough for all they've done and taught our family.
Sherpa family March 23, 2012 at 04:07 AM
This school Mercer Island martial Arts is better than any other martial arts school on the whole island because when I train with the other students it makes me learn a valuable lesson " Respecting others and learning self defense ". Thank you so much Mercer Island Martial Arts - Sherpa family
Angela Sherpa March 23, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Mercer Island Martial arts is the best place to train!
Phillip March 23, 2012 at 07:26 AM
I find it odd that the studio that has the most votes is the studio with the 2nd to least comments. I guess Z is getting some help from corporate HQ. There was a link......
Lloyd Reaners March 23, 2012 at 08:47 AM
It is unfortunate that a McDojo such as Z-Ultimate is even included on a poll like this. Even if some of the instructors are decent, the leadership is reprehensible. This organization is very crooked and it out only to make money and not further the art. See the following website to get a taste of the Z-Ultimate leadership: http://www.zultimateselfdefense.com/
Claudia Vlcek March 23, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Mercer Island Martial Arts!!
Kendall Watson March 23, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Comments also count!!!
Kendall Watson March 23, 2012 at 04:02 PM
HI Lloyd, I appreciate everyone feels passionately about their favorite school. As long as you stay within the Terms of Use guidelines (found at the bottom of the page), criticizing another school is welcome, but the point of this story is your Favorite school, not your Least Favorite. Thanks.
Phillip March 23, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Why was the link pulled? There was nothing in that post that violated the Patch's terms of use. I think it borders on unethical behaviour that a comment would be pulled for no valid reason and without letting the readers know the post had been pulled. Most other forums will at least have a little note that says 'this comment has been removed for not meeting site standards'. Instead its just 'poof, and it is magically gone. As a 'journalist' didn't you find the info there worthy of follow up and doesn't bother you that your readers' comments are being censored? Unfortunately Z has a lot of issues, don't your readers deserve to know that? Why is the Patch actively covering up for these guys? Is it standard practice to remove posts the Patch doesn't like even though they comply with your terms of use? Of course if the Patch does not consider itself news and if you don't consider what you do journalism, if its just entertainment, then none of the above really matters. I just want to know if I am reading a news paper or a local entertainment site.
Kendall Watson March 23, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Link never was posted. Post again?
Kendall Watson March 23, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Also, see Terms of Use below (or better yet, here: http://mercerisland.patch.com/terms ) As long as you stay within those guidelines, your comments will always stay on Patch. Violate them and I may have to pull them down. That's how it works!
Phillip March 23, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Lloyd reposted the link below. Originally is was in a comment much higher in the thread on Tuesday or Wednesday and posted by a different user. I know that because I followed it to the Z site and now the comment and link are gone.....
Lloyd Reaners March 23, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Just to clarify, by no means am I trying to spam or post anything unethical. The fact of the matter is Z Ultimate is a corporate entity with a lot of issues. They are not 100% open and honest with their instructors or students and a lot of brainwashing occurs. Given the track record of their leaders, Z-Ultimate is definitely not a good brand to expose your children to. There are some good instructors within the Z-Ultimate system, but the company as a whole does little to further the art. Rather, they take $$$ (ridiculous monthly fees, huge fees for testing, promotion through paying for tests and not necessarily through earning the promotion, exclusive tournaments that cost money, masters seminars that cost money-and you are frowned upon if you do not pay for and participate in these things, "exclusive/required" equipment that is significantly marked up . . . all of this generated money is used for questionable things to say the least). Z-Ultimate, uses their large network of dojos to saturate the market and make a lot of noise while overshadowing the truly great independent or smaller operations out there.
Kendall Watson March 23, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Thanks for the clarification, Lloyd.
Phillip March 23, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Nicely said Lloyd.


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