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Blue Ridge Taekwondo is opening a martial arts studio in Black Mountain in late February, to serve Black Mountain, Swannanoa and Old Fort residents ages 4 and up.

There will be a grand opening party from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 2.

“I’m thrilled to see the positive impact that taekwondo is having on our students within the local community,” said the owner of Blue Ridge Taekwondo, Alana Johnson. “By opening a Black Mountain location, I’m creating an opportunity to provide that to even more people.”

Johnson's interest in martial arts dates back to her childhood, although her official journey through the martial art began twelve years ago.

“After the birth of my second child, I realized that I needed a vibrantly fun yet structured form of exercise; I also wanted friendship and community," she said. "I decided that taekwondo was the perfect combination of these two desires. I joined a studio with my two children, worked my way up through the ranks, and realized that I wanted to be an instructor. In 2014, I achieved my dream of making martial arts my life, and opened Blue Ridge Taekwondo.”

“Blue Ridge Taekwondo has created a loving environment for not only our students, but their families as well," Johnson continued. "Students can enroll as early as 4 years old, and over 25% of our students are adults. We’ve become a large family, supporting one another, while providing a light-hearted yet nurturing environment for personal growth, fitness, and building self-defense skills.”  

Classes entail learning forms, self-defense techniques, sparring, and board breaking with a focus on discipline, etiquette, respect, and self-confidence.

“At Blue Ridge Taekwondo, we keep class sizes capped with small instructor-to-student ratios in order to stay true to our personalized teaching style,” Johnson explains “It’s a sport for those who don’t like sports and it offers the physical exercise and discipline of sports, but also offers structure and grounding for a journey that is all your own.”

Martial arts can offer benefits to kids and families alike.

For young children, Blue Ridge Taekwondo focuses on play, discipline, listening, and respect. For older children and adults, the instructors add aspects of leadership development, confronting challenges and dealing with change, building self-esteem, and learning practical self-defense. Social and emotional learning are an integral part of the curriculum.

“I strive to lead people to their own power, through the framework of martial arts. This means learning how to set boundaries, both physical and emotional, as well as gaining the experiential building blocks needed to find self-actualization and identity; all within the four walls of the dojang (taekwondo school)," Johnson said. "The dojang is truly a microcosm for learning so much about yourself, knowledge which you can then translate out into the macrocosm of the rest of your life, to apply to any goals you have.”

At Blue Ridge Taekwondo, students and parents will become part of a taekwondo family, and every person’s challenges are met with love and kindness.

The martial art will help your fitness, confidence, self-defense and self-discipline in a heart-centered environment with a focus on positive discipline and personal responsibility, according to Johnson.

The Tenets of Taekwondo are at the core of all we do: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, and Indomitable Spirit. 

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