ED WATERS Jr.
The Frederick News-Post
FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Kenn Judd said he wanted to help children develop both educationally and physically, so he has combined the two in one location at Market Square.
Judd, an attorney and native of Damascus, has opened a franchise of PRO Martial Arts and his own business, KickStart Learning Center, at 2480D Osprey Way.
“You get it all in one stop,” Judd said during a tour of the two businesses. “Parents can drop off the kids, they can get tutoring or homework help, then get physical fitness or martial arts, too.”
The martial arts area, about 2,000 square feet, offers tae kwon do, tang soo do and hapkido.
“The idea is to build character,” Judd said. “Part of each class is sitting down and learning respect, manners, confidence, discipline and attitude. It is education, not just physical.”
The franchise offers Armor, a program unique to PRO Martial Arts, that focuses on anti-bullying and predator prevention.
“It distinguishes us from other martial arts studios,” Judd said. “We show how to recognize a bully, how to deal with bullies, how to take their power away. It is even designed for kids who are bullies.”
The predator program doesn’t teach students to avoid strangers, but “strangeness,” Judd said, and how to extract yourself from a bad situation.
The martial arts aspect ranges from “Lil Rhinos,” ages 3 to 5, to classes for teens and adults. The Lil Rhinos class teaches children how to pay attention, how to line up, and to not hit or kick, Judd said.
The chief martial arts instructor is Ryan Lee, a black belt with 16 years of teaching experience, along with instructors Luis Martinez and Jeff Chavez, each of whom have more than a decade of experience.
Next door, at KickStart, Judd has Maryland certified teachers, some from Frederick County Public Schools, doing one-on-one and group help in reading, math, language arts, writing or other skills.
A program called “Homework Help” has college-education majors assisting students who don’t need tutoring with homework tasks in a quiet environment.
“The kid can be dropped off, do their homework, do martial arts and be picked up later by the parents,” Judd said.
There is also a college test prep program, in group or individual situations, and an after-school program that offers pickup of children at schools within a 2 1?2-mile radius of Market Square, and provides time for the children both on the educational side and martial arts side of the businesses.
Judd got his undergraduate degree in finance from Virginia Tech and his juris doctorate from the University of Maryland. He worked as an attorney for United Health Care in Frederick, doing both legal and managerial duties.
“I wanted to do something on my own. I explored franchises, saw PRO Martial Arts as something that builds character, not just martial arts,” Judd said. He launched KickStart Learning Center as a way to blends the educational and physical development of youth. Teen and adult classes will be offered as well in martial arts.
Judd said he is looking at starting another combined business location in the Clarksburg area in 2014 and the Carroll-Howard counties area in 2015.
Information from: The Frederick (Md.) News-Post, http://www.fredericknewspost.com
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)