A home for a plethora of martial arts known as World Champions Training Centers is now in Maricopa.
The center is the brainchild of martial arts master Joe Edmondson, a former World Fighting Champion.
World Champions Training Center, which opened Monday, offers classes in tae kwon doe, mixed martial arts, grappling, western boxing, muay thai kickboxing, functional strength training, closed quarters combat, thai chi, yoga, pilates and kenpo karate.
Five martial arts specialist with a more than 100 years of combined experience will teach the courses.
Edmondson said he opened in Maricopa because of a lack of businesses offering the opportunity to participate in physical activity.
“Maricopa needs this,” Edmondson said.
Its programs are mostly centered toward adults, but the center does include two classes for children.
Rates start at $99 per month per program. Those who are not sure which program to choose, however, may purchase one month of unlimited access to all programs for the same price.
“It is a way to give people a taste of everything,” Edmondson said.
Although the martial arts are a contact sport, participants may choose if they want to compete in contact drills, Edmondson said.
By taking the contact out of the classes, Edmondson said he hopes he can remove some of the fear people have related to practicing a martial art.
Those who don’t choose to compete will still train like those who do.
Edmondson noted that athletes around the world who are in the best shape are fighters. The methods that they use to train are the same that he uses on his customers, he said.
Edmondson added that training in this manner is superior to just going to the gym because the participant is learning self-defense maneuvers that might be valuable at one point in their life.
“You can pay $50 or $60 a month to go to a gym and you are learning nothing,” Edmondson said.
In addition to the standard classes held at this 3,000 square foot facility the center will hold free self-defense classes every Wednesday night from 8 to 9:30 p.m.
These free self-defense classes will be a way for the business to introduce the residents of Maricopa to the different programs available through the center.
Edmondson said he hope this center will be the first of many to open throughout the state.
What: World Champions Training Centers
Where: 20046 N. John Wayne Parkway Suite 106
Hours: 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
Contact: (480) 831-5425
Web site: www.karatejoe.com
Photo by Michael K. Rich