For many, it isn't just a lifestyle; it's a way of life.

Those who join Rat Pack's Dynasty Karate in Palmerton should prepare to embark on a personal life journey.

Located at 486 Delaware Avenue, the business that specializes in traditional martial arts is under new ownership.

The head instructor is Master Kevin Kresge, a 6th Degree Black. Belt American Tae kwon do under Grand Master R.C. Nenow.

Kresge, who has taught martial arts for over 20 years, took over the reins after Nenow passed away in July.

"I want to keep it a traditional school," Kresge said. "It's not just physical activity, but a way of life; mind, body and soul."

Kresge said there are about 25 members at present, a figure he hopes to expand.

"We want to get a nice size class, and maybe sponsor some martial arts tournaments," he said. "Our goal is to be a respected school; respect is the key."

Kresge said members who join can learn karate, Tae kwon do, self-defense, Kata-Kumite, weapons training and other forms of conditioning.

"You find a transformation in your life," he said. "It's about living a clean, happy life, where you try to follow virtue, kindness, respect for your opponents and fellow human being."

Kresge said those who join the program are guaranteed to "gain self-confidence through my training."

"We do quite a bit of self-defense work," he said. "That way, you're able to defend yourself a little better."

Rat Pack's Dynasty Karate is a 2,400-square-foot matted facility with an 18-by-18-foot professional boxing ring.

What's more, Kresge said plans are in the works for a full weight room fitness center and 16-foot hexagon cage by January.

Mens, womens and children's classes are now forming. All ages and experience levels are welcome.

Adult classes are held Tuesday and Thursday from 6-7 p.m.; Saturday, from 11 a.m. to noon; and Sunday, from 9-10:30 a.m.

Childrens' classes are held Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30-6 p.m., Saturday, from 11 a.m. to noon; and Sunday, from 9-10:30 a.m. Private classes are available as well.

For more information, call 610-826-4400, or 484-332-6131, or visit www.rpfightingsystems.com or www.dynastykarate.com.