In a couple of months, another vacant building along the Route 130 corridor will be occupied when Action Karate takes over the former Beneficial Bank by the new 7-Eleven.
The group is already trying to be good neighbors by getting in touch with local school districts and libraries to hold seminars—in addition to their normal classes—on anti-bullying, child abduction and more.
“It’s very fun and refreshing,” said Matthew Brenner, 21, of Action Karate. “We are able to channel their energy in a fun way, in an activity. We are teaching them something.”
Action Karate is a family martial arts center with locations in South Jersey and Pennsylvania. The group is temporarily holding classes at Temple Sinai until they move to their new location on Highland Avenue. Brenner’s brother Solomon founded Action Karate in 1994.
“What sets us apart [from other karate studios] is we teach confidence more than anything else,” Brenner said. “You learn martial arts not to hurt anyone else, but to get out of situations.”
Classes are for kids and adults and are tailored to their needs. Earlier this month, Brenner went to the Yocum School in Maple Shade for a seminar. He taught about 200 second-grade students.
“That went incredibly,” he said. “We cater toward preschools or anywhere up to middle school. The kids can see how cool and fun karate can be.”
Schools can ask Action Karate also to fit their seminars to the students’ and school’s needs.
“Yocum wanted a program on anti-bullying so we talked about teasing and exclusion,” Brenner said.
The group plans on visiting local libraries and holding seminars there.
Brenner got into karate at a young age, but sat on the mat crying on his first day, he said laughing.
“Now I’m teaching,” he said. “It’s what I love to do. I feel like I have so much to give back. It’s given me so much confidence, it’s made me a better student and a better citizen overall.”
Click here for more information on Action Karate.