Pro Martial Arts — a karate program that incorporates elements of Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do, and Hapkido — is looking to bring nine additional dojos, or martial arts training centers, to metro Detroit over the next few years.
Mike and Mena Murray plan to take part in that expansion by opening four locations of their own by 2018, starting with a Pro Martial Arts in Troy at 2137 Crooks Rd., set to open next month.
“This franchise program has only been around for five years, so it’s relatively new,” says Mike. “What they’ve found is, at the beginning, most of the students live within three miles of your location. But after two or three years, the appeal broadens, and you get customers from up to nine miles away, just because there really isn’t a similar program to this. That was really attractive to us.”
A blend of traditional Korean martial arts, the Pro Martial Arts system — which has nearly 60 locations nationally — is built on the belief that karate should teach not only self-defense, but also character by helping to improve overall attitude, self-worth, fitness, assertiveness, and self-awareness.
Dojos through Pro Martial Arts also offer Armor, a bullying and predator program that teaches youth, ages 4 to 17, how to identify bullies and carry themselves with confidence. The program also teaches students how to identify appropriate versus inappropriate adult behavior and the importance of listening to their instincts.
“We wanted to invest in something that could benefit children,” Mike says. “And this program is unique in that character education is not a byproduct of what we do, it’s the main product. The fact that we have a program that strictly addresses keeping kids safe from bullies and predators is critical.”
While the dojo’s marketing focus is on children, the Troy location will also offer classes to teens and adults as well. One is a fitness kickboxing course for adults, which combines motivational lectures, athletic drills, and martial arts techniques.
The new facility will officially open on July 12 with a family fun day including karate demonstrations, board breaking, raffles, and pizza. Other locations will be announced in the coming months. For more information, call 248-731-5730 or visit promartialarts.com/troy.