Name of Business: Merafuentes Tae Kwon Do & Hapkido A Lee Brothers Academy
Type of Business: Martial arts studio
Location: 415 East Main Street
Hours: Monday through Friday 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Contact Information: 620-0261
Business Specialty: Mental and Physical Fitness
History of Business: While students at Merafuentes Tae Kwon Do & Hapkido are often drawn to the studio for physical fitness, owner Tony Merafuentes said his first goal is to give students a strong foundation on the importance of mental strength.
“You’re not just working out. You’re applying the discipline behind the art,” he explained.
There are five core values practiced at the studio: integrity, perseverance, self-control, courtesy, and indomitable spirit. Students apply these principles while learning Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do, both of which originated in Korea. Hapkido focuses on self-defense while Tae Kwon Do is Olympic style fighting that literally translates into the “way of the hand and foot.”
While some seek out the studio as an alternative form of fitness or an after school activity for their children, what keeps them coming back is the sense of community at the family friendly studio said Merafuentes.
“We tend to become a second family for people. I think it’s because of values instilled here. It’s not just kicking and punching,” said Merafuentes.
Merafuentes said he is also working to instill good ethics and self-discipline in youth through the studio’s after school program. The students are picked up from school and brought to the studio where a period of homework and games takes place before martial arts practice begins. The program lasts until 6 p.m. and is offered five times a week.