Discipline. Confidence. Focus. These are just a few of the words that line the walls of Winchester's newest business: Elite Freestyle Karate.
Dozens attended Elite Freestyle Karate's grand opening Saturday afternoon at its new location at 750 Main St. Prior to the Winchester studio opening, Elite Freestyle Karate had locations in Reading and Wilmington.
With classes kicking off Tuesday, this dojo is the third in a triangle of karate studios aimed at not just teaching self defense but inspiring “spirit and perseverance ... focusing on the interaction between child, parents and instructor,” explained Sensei JD, one of Elite Freestyle Karate's high-degree black belts and teachers.
These ideals were also alluded to by those in attendance. Laura Swanson, a Lexington resident at Elite Freestyle Karate for the open house with her husband and son, 6-year-old Ewan who just began the program, said her child “gets a lot of exercise and it teaches him discipline and focus ... I've been very impressed with (the program), it's very encouraging and patient toward the kids.”
Mike and Matt Tucker, 14-year-old twin brothers from Reading, explained why they enjoy their time at Elite Freestyle Karate
“It's not just about how to defend yourself, you learn how to be a better person and build confidence,” Mike Tucker said. Matt Tucker added, “Before I did karate, I didn't really put myself out there. Now, I say what I want to say and get out there more.”
Training isn't solely for the guys either. Wilmington resident, Elisa Alexander, 13, said, “It's something that keeps you going and never gets boring. Yeah, it teaches you physical abilities, but also life skills.”
The dojo isn't just for kids. Ken Feyl, 44, a Reading student, displayed the strength training he gets at Elite Freestyle Karate by participating in a wood chopping demonstration.
Shihan (Master) Gary Meyer, co-owner of the Winchester-based Elite Freestyle Karate studio and a sixth-degree black belt with 38 years of teaching experience, discussed why he and his business partner, Sensei Steve Cioffi, decided to open their newest location where they did.
“It seems like the right distant (from their Reading and Wilmington dojos) to create a triangle of locations for additional access,” Meyer said. “We also really like Winchester and how it operates as a town … We are glad to be part of the community.”
For more information about Elite Freestyle Karate, visit the company's website or call 781-729-9896 during their normal business hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Classes are for everyone ages three to adult that are interested in learning Jiu-Jitsu, taekwondo, traditional karate, kempo and for higher-level students, weapons training.