Master’s Martial Arts Academy, a self-defense school that holds classes at Naperville-area churches, youth centers and home-school cooperatives, is celebrating 25 years of ministry.


Rev. Dave Pearson celebrates 25 years in ministry in martial arts. Photo by Kramer Photographers in Naperville.

Twenty-five years ago, third-degree black belt, Dave Pearson started Master’s Martial Arts Academy in Fairfax, Virginia. He moved the school to Illinois in 1990. Now a fifth-degree black belt and an ordained minister, Rev. Dave Pearson has taught thousands of students in the Chicago area. Hundreds of his students have earned their black belts themselves, including his two children, Glen and Dawn.

In addition to training students, the pastor has shared a karate demonstration with Biblical principles to thousands at churches, schools, youth centers, detention centers, senior centers, family camps, and neighborhood festivals. Each presentation includes Pearson’s moving personal story which was featured on Unshackled!, a radio program taped at Chicago’s Pacific Garden Mission. Pearson’s demonstration also can be adapted for anti-drug or anti-bullying messages.

Though Pearson does not pastor a church, “his full-time ministry is working with other churches through Master’s Martial Arts Academy, hosting a radio program on WYLL (AM 1160), and serving as a chaplain at O’Hare and Midway airports,” e-mailed his spokeswoman and wife, Evelyn Pearson.

Pearson closes his demonstration by breaking stacks of bricks or wood to demonstrate that God can give you the strength to break through the hard things in life, Evelyn Pearson wrote.

Master’s Martial Arts Academy trains students in martial arts and the Bible to develop a physical and spiritual guard. Classes are family-friendly and suitable for parents and grandparents to take classes with their children and grandchildren. The program offers an opportunity to advance from white (beginner) to black (expert) belt.

Master’s Martial Arts Academy welcomes additional students to its current classes and is open to new class locations or private lessons. In addition, Pearson also is available for karate demonstrations.

For more information, visit, call Rev. Dave Pearson at (630) 567-9188 or e-mail him at