Hapkido martial arts program sees growth
Duane Simpson, owner of D.M. Simpson Hapkido on Second Street in Meadville, said the past nine months have brought some positive outcomes at the local martial arts school.
“We went from having three students at the beginning of 2021 (and) now we’re sitting at 25 students,” he said. “But any good business does take time, and I didn’t want fast growth. Schools that have fast growth can’t catch up with the demand, especially since I’m the only instructor (at my school). It’s good that I have students that have spacing in between when they joined.”
One of Simpson’s goals for the year was to see his business established locally, and he has seen that come to pass.
“People (are) getting used to me being there,” he said. “It’s just taking time to realize, ‘Hey, we have a martial arts school in Meadville.’
“(In the upcoming year, I hope to see) more growth. I look to have more equipment. We just recently purchased some equipment for the school. The (new) mats are a big purchase item (as well as) the two new stand-up bags.
“I can move them anywhere in the classroom and do more drills. I have other pads we can use, and I am looking at getting more mats for our big throws.”
Simpson also expressed gratitude for those who have supported him and continue to support him throughout this endeavor.
“This time of year is always about thanks, and giving thanks,” he began.
“I’m thankful for the people that support me and my students. I thank my landlord (Tyler Blalock) because he’s the one that was instrumental in getting me into Meadville and helping me have a place to teach.
“Tyler Blalock has been very good for getting me here because if he wouldn’t have talked to me, I would have been thinking about going somewhere else. I moved my business from Brookhaven to here.
“All business is a risk, but I look at it (like this) – my home is Franklin County. It’s a lot closer for me commute-wise. The other thing is, as far as I know, I’m the only martial artist teaching in Franklin County, and I plan on being here a good long time. I’m going to keep teaching until I can’t.”
The school has three classes — youth, women’s self-defense and adult. The youth class is for children ages 7 to 13. The adult and women’s self-defense classes have a minimum age requirement of 13.
The current cost of enrollment is $50 a month.
The class times are:
• Youth — Tuesday and Thursday, 4:15 to 5 p.m.
• Women’s self-defense — Tuesday and Thursday, 5 to 6 p.m.
• Adults — Tuesday and Thursday, 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. and Saturday, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
For more information about the school’s offerings, visit the website at dmsimpsonhkd.com or contact Simpson at 601-265-8861 or email@example.com.
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