A new martial arts studio is kicking its way into Cranberry Township.
On Saturday, Sept. 15, Pro Martial Arts will celebrate its grand opening in the retail plaza located off Rochester Road.
“I’m very excited. I can’t wait to open the doors this Saturday,” said studio owner Bill Duderstadt. “We have a great location here.”
A Hampton Township resident, Duderstadt said he has been studying martial arts for more than 30 years.
The fourth degree black belt and certified instructor, who had been working as a computer system analyst, added he had been looking at franchise opportunities for more than a year when he came across Pro Martial Arts, which has locations across the country.
In particular, Duderstadt said he liked the national chain’s program model for children, which includes building character and the ARMOR bullying and predator prevention program.
"I think it's a great opportunity that you can take young kids and mold them into awesome, respectful adults," he said.
The instructors also encourage their young students to practice good habits and self-discipline. For example, if a student makes his bed, he could fill out his "good habits" card and receive a gold star from the studio, Duderstadt said. The students also are asked to volunteer.
In this case, Duderstadt said the Cranberry location is asking students to volunteer with the Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Created to give children with special needs the opportunity to play baseball on a team, the league has a rubberized field at Graham Park.
“We want to build a sense of community sprit within these kids,” Duderstadt said.
The father of two, whose 15-year-old son, Brandon, will be a junior instructor at the studio, said Pro Martial Arts also would offer classes to those with special needs.
Duderstadt said the public is invited to attend Saturday’s grand opening celebration, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and feature Karate, tai chi and kick-boxing demonstrations.
Grandmaster Edward Samane, the company’s national president, also will attend the grand opening—which will also include complimentary food, refreshments and giveaways—and there will be a special appearance by Rocky the Rhino, the Pro Martial Arts mascot.
Duderstadt said donations from a board-breaking exhibition at the celebration would benefit the Miracle League.
Depending on the success of the Cranberry location, Duderstadt said he hopes to open other Pro Martial Arts franchises around Pittsburgh.
“It has a very good business model,” he said.