Dr. Marcus Gillespie - Hapkido Master American Institute of Modern Hapkido Instruction


It is a great honor to write this letter of testimonial and recommendation based on my experience with Instructor Tyler Sowers. 

Instructor Tyler Sowers exemplifies all of the attributes of an ideal martial artist and martial arts instructor. Based on his training in the Korean arts of both Tae Kwon Do and Hap Ki Do, coupled with his integrity and passion for martial arts, he has both the knowledge and skills to be the excellent instructor and leader that he is. Instructor Sowers has achieved the rank of 4th Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do through the International Tae Kwon Do Federation, and is also a Recommended 1st Dan Black Belt in Hap Ki Do through the American Institute of Modern Hap Ki Do Instruction (AIMHI). (Hap Ki Do combines elements of both Tae Kwon Do and Jujitsu.) This combination of training in both arts has prepared him to creatively and effectively blend elements of both in his instructional style, thereby enhancing his students’ ability to defend themselves and to develop in character.


I first met Mr. Sowers 9 years ago when he joined my Hap Ki Do Academy at Sam Houston State University where I serve as an Associate Dean in the College of Science and Engineering Technology. I have had the privilege of running my academy for 17 years and now have the rank of 6th Dan Black Belt/Master Instructor. In the years that I have been teaching Hap Ki Do, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of students, and Instructor Sowers stands out as one of the best I have had. Having had prior training in Tae Kwon Do, he was very adept at quickly learning the many Hap Ki Do self-defense techniques (known as soolgis) for countering grabs and strikes. These techniques are what distinguish Hap Ki Do from other martial arts. When students are learning soolgis, many of them focus on simply imitating the motions, but without fully understanding why they are doing them. This was not the case with Instructor Sowers. He understood both the purpose and the subtleties required for the successful execution of the techniques, and that understanding is one of the characteristics that make him an excellent instructor. 

While a student in my academy, which is also a student organization (Martial Arts Team of Sam Houston), he served as Vice President of the organization. It was at this time that his organizational and leadership skills became apparent to me. Having now operated his own academy for several years (SFC Martial Arts), while also running a business, his organizational and leadership skills have certainly continued to grow. These skills are readily apparent in the fact that he successfully teaches classes at multiple academy locations, and is able to coordinate tests with students from all of them. 

During some of the tests that Instructor Sowers has given, I have had the opportunity to help evaluate his students. The impression that stands out most in my mind is the discipline and respect that they demonstrated during these tests. His students were focused and committed to doing their best – and were courteous at all times. It is always a challenge for an instructor to teach these qualities to any age group, especially to very young children because it requires a balance between being “strict,” but also friendly and nurturing at the same time. For students to want to learn martial arts, and to remain in an academy, they have to believe that the instructor truly cares about them and is trying to help them become better in terms of both their martial arts skills and character. Instructor Sowers has the rare ability to do this. If I had children who wanted to learn martial arts, I would be eager to have them study with Instructor Sowers.


In martial arts, character is essential because being a martial artist is about much more than physical skills. It is more fundamentally about character and discipline because these are the foundations of a good life. Based on   

this recognition, martial artists always strive to develop and maintain their character – their integrity – by being honest, compassionate, courteous, and respectful of others. Having attained the rank he holds in both Tae Kwon Do and Hap Ki Do, and having attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts, Instructor Sowers is a testament to what a true martial artist should be. Because of this, I whole heartedly endorse him as a martial artist, martial arts instructor, business owner, and his academy. I firmly believe that his students will benefit tremendously from studying at SFC Martial Arts.

Sensei Philip Plumber - TKD Grand Master Soldier's For Christ - Phil's Karate School


I had the unique opportunity to be Tyler Sowers’ very first Martial Arts Instructor back in 2000 when he attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic School. I trained Tyler in the art of Tae Kwon Do and taught to always be a Soldier for Christ and a Servant of the Lord before all else.

Each class, we would start with a saying, “Winners Never Quit; and Quitters Never Win.”  Tyler was among the most respectful of my students and serious from the start of his training to be the best student he could be. His focus was on improving his learned skills along with athletic abilities from being an Eagle Scout and other physical activities. Although, it was clear to me that he favored the martial arts. If he did not win a battle in the class, he was never discourage, but determined to train more to win the battle the next time. Like many, when we want to be good at anything, we become impatient at times due to our progress – I did not notice that in Tyler. He kept coming back to learn and although he always kept his emotions in good balance, I could see the determination in his eyes; “The Eyes Of The Tiger”. 

Further in his training, he continuously pursued and had the drive to learn more to become a better martial artist; even to the point of becoming a Martial Arts Instructor himself. Tyler’s drive, passion, and determination to make a difference in student’s lives has lead him to be the Founder of his program, Soldier For Christ Martial Arts. He took “Soldier’s For Christ” training to a whole new level to develop a stable structured program that is now thriving at multiple schools in the Houston and Katy area. I see in him the determination to become better. He has the heart of a servant and the mind of a leader, all structured around living as a Man of Faith.

I am reminded of a Proverb in the Old Testament:

Proverb 28:1 “The wicked run when no one is chasing them; the righteous are as bold as a lion.”  

1 Samuel 17:48 “Loins run toward their Goliaths not away.” 

I am happy to see one of many black belt students of mine pursuing Soldiers for Christ training and promoting students on the foundation of Jesus Christ, our commanding officer (2 Timothy 2:3,4). God bless all and to God be the glory.

John Aylor - Assitant Princpal, Saint Cecilia Catholic School

 Dear Prospective School,

I would like to offer my support for Tyler Sowers, of Soldier for Christ Martial Arts, who has served our school community for the past few years.  Tyler's martial arts program has brought a great offering for our students, with his classes well-attended by both boys and girls.  In my experience, his program is well-run, safe, reliable, and the kids absolutely love it.

After initial interest in the program, Instructor Sowers' program has grown at our school, where parents have requested summer programs, and have even expressed interest in adult classes.  Instructor Sowers treats each student with dignity, conducts himself with quiet poise, and makes it "easy" to host his program.  His willingness to go the extra mile for his students indicates the sort of partnership he wishes to have with our school, and I have been impressed by the rapport and trust he has established with our families.  I offer my full recommendation.

Tim Miesner - Principal, Epiphany Lutheran School

 This is to recommend Tyler Sowers and his program of martial arts.  Tyler has run this program at Epiphany for two years now.  He worked hard to develop relationships with parents during our meet-the-teacher days.  He recruited students actively for his program and continuously communicated with parents about it.

Tyler has earned parents' trust through this active communication and allowing them to watch him work with their children.  He constantly treats students with firmness and respect.  He is very cooperative and flexible, easy on the staff.

I highly recommend Tyler and his afterschool program of martial arts for any school or church that is considering this opportunity.

Agard Family - Parent

 We are honored to write this letter of recommendation and testimonial in support of the Soldier for Christ Martial Arts program and Instructor Tyler Sowers.

Our son (almost 8 yrs.), daughter (5 yrs.) and nephews (8 yrs. and 12 yrs.) are all part of this exciting, fun-filled program.  For the past two years, we have witnessed how Instructor Sowers and his class have instilled dedication, discipline, focus, confidence and extreme enthusiasm for martial arts in not just our children, but most of the students in the class.

Instructor Sowers is a highly respected and knowledgeable expert in the field.  He is warm, friendly, attentive and exemplifies the finest qualities of a top-class instructor in the discipline.  When our son first joined the Soldier for Christ Martial Arts program, he was only 6 years old and one of the youngest and smallest students in the class.  Instructor Sowers' steady encouragement, patience and respect for all the students, gave him the confidence to excel and ignited his passion for martial arts.

We have observed that the program is a physical and mental outlet for individual development and achievement, as well as being part of a team.  It has given our son dedication, resilience, and the ability to commit to his goals and see them through, as each semester the students work towards a promotion test to excel in rank by belt color, and they can earn color stripes each class to qualify to test, which keeps consistent goals for the students to reach.

Also, he group training and positive environment has led to meaningful friendships.  At the end of each class, Instructor Sowers leads the students in group martial arts games and sparring exercises.  The students have so much fun, our children rarely want to leave class.  Even during the week after school and on the weekends our children and nephews are constantly practicing their martial arts moves and sparring technique.

We have also noticed how the program has helped our children and nephews develop their strength, balance, and coordination.  The training and exercises involved not only improves the children's motor skills, but also their ability to pay attention and follow directions.  It also helps them burn off extra energy after school, and knowing our children are learning self-defense skills is incredibly rewarding.

Overall, we give our highest recommendation to parents and students who are looking for a fun, educational and meaningful extracurricular activity in a safe and supportive atmosphere.  We cannot say enough good things about this five-star program and Instructor Sowers.

Barbosa Family - Parent

 Our son Declan, has been attending the Soldier For Christ Martial Arts program, and learning Tae Kwon Do, for 3 years and we have no hesitation in enthusiastically recommending Tyler and the program - both to parents and students, and to school considering offering the program.

Not only is Declan obtaining a rigorous and valuable instruction in the martial arts, but more importantly it is an environment of care, fun and moral values.  Tyler's methods of teaching and engaging the children are highly effective.  This is clearly seen in the degree of passion and enthusiasm that Declan and his fellow students show.  Tyler, comes to school once a week for lessons, and also offers frequent gradings and competitions.  Additionally, he offers holiday programs for students to continue or accelerate their development.

As parents we really enjoy the family involvement and being part of the program.  More importantly, Declan loves it and continues to grow and develop through the program.  We cannot recommend the program highly enough, as both great physical training but also one that builds character and discipline.

Reventar Family - Parent

 If you are looking for a rewarding and physically-engaging after-class activity for your kids then I would highly recommend Soldier for Christ Martial Arts!  Mr. Sowers teaches this class at my son's school.  Toby has been taking up his classes since he was in first grade which has made a significant impact in his life!  Toby has become more physically active, agile and now has acute awareness of self-defense.

My husband and I have seen how much Mr. Sowers impacted Toby in a very positive way through Tae-kwon-do!  Our son learned how to focus in reaching goals and has increased self-esteem as he continues to reach difference levels/belts.  Mr Sowers is also very dedicated in what he does and he patiently instructs each of his students.

Killinger Family - Parent

Soldier for Christ Martial Arts offers an outstanding Tae Kwon Do program that I would highly recommend families and schools use.  They are very effective at teaching the techniques and are amazing at keeping the children motivated, disciplined, and focus on getting their form right and advancing their skills.  I am particularly impressed with the variety of methods used to warm up and teach the children each week.  From an administrative perspective, they are very organized, plan ahead and make it easy to pay.

When I asked my daughter what she thinks about her teacher and the program, here's what she said about her teacher, Mr. Sowers at Soldiers for Christ:

- very nice

- understanding

- good at explaining everything

- great teacher

- very hard worker

- dedicated

- always available to help with 1:1 questions

If you or your school sign up with Mr. Sowers, I am sure you and your child will have a great experience.

Reverend Clint Ressler - Priest Former Pastor, St. Rose of Lima

I've known Tyler Sowers since he was a child.  I have also known his parents and grandparents over this same period of time.  They are all heavily involved in our church community.  Tyler has stood out among his peers even from an early age.  He has been a man of service and high ideals.  His experience in Scouting helped to shape him and underline the values that his family and our church have tried to shape in him.  I believe that Tyler does in fact live up to the ideals of Scouting and the Scout Law.  I believe that Tyler can accomplish a lit in his life because he is, frankly, willing to pay the price to high achievement.  He is resolute in pursuing his goals and his character shows in his dedication approach to accomplishing what he sets out to do.  While he is definitely serious minded, I wouldn't want to give the impression that he's not also jovial, friendly and balanced.

I would recommend Tyler Sowers.  Tyler was employed in our parish from 2008 - 2015.  In this capacity Tyler did an excellent job in and was an asset to our church community.  He is extremely organized, can work independently ad is able to follow through to ensure that the job get done.

Tyler has always been willing to offer his assistance and to take initiative.  He would be an asset to any employer and I recommend him for any endeavor he chooses to pursue.

Taylor Family - Parent

In the two years that our daughter Lillie has been taking classes with Soldiers for Christ she has gained many skills and increased in confidence and physical strength.  She is excited to go to each class and tournament and to advance in rank.

Mr. Sowers always shows patience as he teaches each child.  He makes sure every student learns the skills they need to advance to the next level.

Cindy Flores - Principal Assistant St. Pius X Catholic High School

Tyler Sowers ran an adult fitness program for the Spring Semester of 2014 at St. Pius X High School.  We had 5 - 7 teachers participate in this after school fitness program.  We were looking for a trainer that could come to our location and make it easy for us to get a good workout.

Tyler was able to bring a fitness program to our school that fit our needs.  He came twice a week for a 45 minute workout.  He has a good mixture of martial arts training and cardio training.  He was able to work with us in adopting that work out to whatever free location we could find on campus that day.

Tyler will be able to work and set up a program that will meet your needs for all age levels.

Cyr Family - Parent

My son has studied martial arts with Mr. Sowers for two years.  For my son, it has been the best lesson in confidence and conscientiousness he could have received.  Mr. Sowers is very calm in his manner and very supportive of all the kids in both their martial arts study and their outside interests.  Even though each class is packed with students who have the typical end of the school day energy, classes proceed in an orderly manner so that the kids are thoroughly engaged and busy from the beginning of class all the way to the end.  Mr. Sowers also encourages the kids in building self-discipline and respect by helping them not just to learn the skills presented, but to learn and perform them well, and to improve their performance with each repetition.  When the kids have earned new belts, they know they have achieved something of merit from their hard work.  In teaching, Mr. Sowers know just when a child need patience, which he is extremely generous with, and when a student needs more direction.

Mr. Sowers truly has a gift for working with elementary and junior high aged kids, and we are thankful to have him at our school.