Bringing taekwondo to Severna Park kids and adults is only part of the package at the newly opened First Class Martial Arts studio operated by James Yoon.
Yoon holds a black belt in the Korean martial art taekwondo and has 15 years of experience at other area studios. He said he hopes to transfer the benefits of this sport to others of all ages, including athletes looking to sharpen their focus and flexibility on the field or court.
An added bonus is parents who are looking for a night out sans the kiddies now have another child care alternative. Yoon is partnering with local businesses to provide a parents night out, with the first slated for Aug. 24.
Using a successful business model from his experience working at an Edgewater martial arts studio, Yoon is forming a network with area businesses to offer something fun to do for parents while the kids learn about taekwondo and do other activities at the studio.
On Aug. 24, parents can drop their kids off for three hours to First Class while they visit one of the local business partners. They can take a dance lesson at Arthur Murray, located next door to the studio, or have dinner at Poor Boy Steakhouse, located close by on Ritchie Highway.
Yoon is recruiting other businesses for the evening, too.
Yoon said he is hoping to build a business network in the community to offer these parents' night out specials once a month. He sees this as a way for the community to help support their local businesses while benefiting everyone involved.
"We'll work together instead of individually," Yoon said.
He also plans to partner with schools by offering after-school programs.
"There is a misconception about martial arts being used in the wrong way. Martial arts is great for self confidence and discipline," he said.
Yoon also has special offers for the community. All Severna Park, Arnold, and Pasadena residents will receive two weeks of free classes just for being a local resident.
Taekwondo, the national sport of South Korea, also is an Olympic sport, but normally doesn't air during prime time coverage, Yoon said. Taekwondo athletes will be competing at the 2012 Olympics, click here to view the event times.
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July 25 Update: Arthur Murrays, Chris' Restaurant, Brian Boru, Poor Boy Steakhouse and Massage Envy are participating in the parent's night out on Aug. 24.