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New studio to teach anti-bullying methods

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A martial arts studio that also teaches children anti-bullying techniques will hold its grand opening Aug. 9 in Fredericksburg.

Bill and Tracy Taylor of Fredericksburg are the owners of the local PRO Martial Arts franchise, which opened July 28 at 3126 Cowan Blvd.

The couple, who have experience in tae kwon do, decided to buy it after the company she’d been working for moved to Atlanta and her husband was let go when his employer downsized.

“We were both unemployed and looked into franchises,” Tracy Taylor said. “We thought this was a good fit for our passion for helping kids.”

The couple, who used to live near Lake Anna, are leaders in Mineral Baptist Church’s youth programs, including Awana and R.U.S.H.

“PRO Martial Arts is a karate school. However, we are not necessarily focused on martial arts, but building character for a lifetime,” Taylor said.

This includes offering short “mat chats” about respect, honor and character before classes, and the company’s trademarked ARMOR program for 4- to 17-year-olds that is made up of 12 weekly lessons on bullying prevention and 12 separate lessons on predator prevention.

“We don’t want to scare kids,” Taylor said. “We have lessons for ages 9 and under and different ones for ages 10 and above. We also have classes for parents to make them aware of Internet resources and potential problems.”

In addition to ARMOR, PRO Martial Arts has classes for children and adults that blend the best elements of traditional Korean martial arts tang soo do, tae kwon do and hapkido.

The grand opening, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include mini karate demonstrations that children can take part in, as well as other activities. Rocky the Rhino, the ARMOR program mascot, will be there, and there will be prizes and refreshments.

PRO Martial Arts was founded by Ed Samane in 1998, and now has 83 locations nationwide. The Taylors’ studio is the first in Virginia, and they plan to open more in the Fredericksburg area in the next few years.

Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407


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