Enlightened Martial Arts Academy co-owners Amanda Chappell and Rob Glick saw an opportunity in their shared musical and martial arts passions.
After meeting through the homeschooling community, Chappell said they discussed shared interests in music and martial arts. The two then brainstormed around the idea of combining them under the same academy.
“We found this relationship between music and martial arts to kind of go hand-in-hand together,” she said. “It was a unique thing we hadn’t seen anywhere else. We thought it would work really well.”
The two hosted a grand opening event for their new academy at Stellar Drive in Newmarket Nov. 19, featuring displays from their students. The new private business offers classes covering music and French, along with martial arts lessons for all ages, running day and night to appeal both to homeschool and public school students.
Glick said the programs offer good benefits for the kids that partake in them.
“This is going to help teach them all the discipline and get them to focus. It helps improve their focus at school, and even at home, they learn initiative,” he said, adding that music and martial arts together “helps that focus and harmonious balance.”
The academy finds ways to bring karate-style progression into its music lessons, with students going through a similar “belt” system as they improve on their instrument. Classes include recorder and ukulele, as well as martial arts disciplines of karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
“We found such a positive structure, especially for children but also for adults, to be able to have that environment to practise the martial arts,” Chappell said. “They can come to one place, and they get everything that they’re looking for.”
The two said the academy opening went well, with dignitaries on hand to celebrate the occasion. They opted against a traditional ribbon cutting, with Glick instead punching and breaking a piece of wood.
Chappell said they hope to grow the community even more.
“It’s been a great environment for the children to be able to learn and grow together,” she said. “A place where they can come together and socialize and really develop some good friendships as well.”
The academy is located at 1124 Stellar Dr., unit 1C.