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We are deeply committed to our community.

We are a vibrant community of teachers, students, and passionate city-dwellers committed to making a difference. Life presents inevitable challenges, but we tackle them with hard work, a focused mind, and the wisdom passed down through generations.

Who we are...

Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute (HTCMLI) is a distinguished 501(c)(3) organization in Washington, DC. Since its inception in 1995 and incorporation as a nonprofit in 2003, HTCMLI has revitalized the essence of community within martial arts, placing paramount importance on well-being, health, and safety.

Under the visionary leadership of founder and Executive Director Rahim Muhammad, the HTCMLI has been dedicated to empowering students. Our mission is to keep students in school, promote health, and steer them away from the criminal justice system. We achieve this by teaching martial arts, African drumming, traditional Chinese Lion and Dragon Dance, synchronized drumming, and traditional Chinese musical instruments.

Join us in our journey to inspire and transform lives through the power of discipline, culture, and community.

Paul Robeson mural displays Paul Robeson in Emperor Jones, a Eugene O'Neil tragic play, and next to him standing tall is Sifu Abdur Rahim Muhammad.

Our story

Sifu Abdur Rahim Muhammad made a plan not so long ago. Teach fitness, focus, and self-defense to the youngest around us in the heart of Washington, DC.

When the school first opened in 1995, a large portion of the block was owned by WMATA, the city public transit system. Much of the block was a sort of urban desert, parched, fenced-off. It was a city block one passed through to somewhere else, with a quickened step when the sun began to set.

In a previous era, the area was the birthing place of world-shattering talent. Creative minds found stages and business opportunities here on U Street, then climbed to fame and fortune nationally and beyond, exhibiting mastery of stage and music, of business, and maybe of their own destiny.

We aim to provide that opportunity again, to prepare oneself for challenges, to reach our goals, lift up those around us, and then stick around to enjoy the view.

our building on U Street, painted red, illuminated by a street lamp.

Where passion meets purpose

Participation in HTCMLI's programs and classes empowers individuals of all ages to cultivate invaluable life skills, instilling positive values, purpose, and resilience in the face of adversity.

Through rigorous training, participants develop physical prowess, mental acuity, and a moral compass to navigate life's complexities with integrity and excellence. At HTCMLI, we believe that preparation for a meaningful life extends beyond martial arts proficiency—it encompasses the development of ethical leadership and a steadfast commitment to personal growth and community upliftment.

Visit us!

1351 U Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

Empower the next generation of leaders

Your donation is an investment in our community and directly benefits the free children's programs we provide to DC kids. Together, we can expand our reach and empower more young leaders.