The World Kickboxing Academy grand opening took place June 2 at 3301 Kent Rd. in Stow.
Those who came out participated in free classes featuring celebrity fighters from the UFC and Bellator.
Students of all ages can learn popular disciplines, including Muay Thai kickboxing, mixed martial arts, SWEAT Kickboxing, grappling, Jiu-Jitsu and Ultimate Conditioning sports performance classes for all levels of experience and goals.
The school is owned by Asian Sun Martial Arts, Ohio's largest martial arts school, and its locations are all directly overseen by Grandmaster Ryan Andrachik.
Orville native Ryan "The Lion" Madigan is the Academy's Head Instructor. A professional fighter with a winning record, Madigan has fought in the Chuck Norris World Combat League, the Tough Man-Bad circuit, the UFC and numerous amateur kickboxing/Muay Thai organizations, where he has held multiple titles.
"It's the first school in the area to make the sport of kickboxing accessible to everybody," said Andrachik, a seventh degree black belt and father of four. "It's great for self defense with all the punches and kicks. Women respond to it, because in classes, you're not rolling on the floor with sweaty guys. And kids learn discipline -- it's all 'Yes, sir' and 'No, sir' when you're talking to instructors."
The Word Kickboxing Academy offers a variety of fitness, martial arts and fighting classes.
Some are formal, and some are designed with an emphasis on fun.
For now, the school offers eight kinds of classes, Monday through Saturday, morning, afternoon, and evening: SWEAT Kickboxing, Adult Muay Thai, Children's Muay Thai, Family Muay Thai, Children's Grappling, Jiu-Jitsu (no gi style), Amateur and Professional Fighting, and Ultimate Conditioning Sports Performance.
"It really is for everybody," says Andrachik. "The family and children classes are not full-contact -- but if you want full contact, you can find it here."
The school is offering six weeks of free, unlimited classes in all styles.
With no ranking system, SWEAT kickboxing classes feature lively music and an entertaining -- but challenging -- environment that helps students burn more than 1,000 calories an hour.
The classes tone your entire body; build cardiovascular fitness and make self-defense techniques part of your reflexes.
In Adult, Children, and Family Muay Thai classes, students learn proven fighting techniques in a safe, controlled environment that incorporates strength training and hands-on exercise.
"It's a world-class facility where pro and amateur fighters are training, but it also is really focused on family and kids," said Andrachik.
"We have family kickboxing classes for mom and dad, brother and sister -- it's a rare thing you can all do together."
Children's Grappling classes promote fitness and teach wrestling and mixed-martial-arts fundamentals.
On June 15, the school is scheduled to host a two-hour Children's Wrestling Camp taught by Hudson Middle School wrestling coach Tyler Peacock.
The camp is open to beginners and advanced students.
In Amateur and Professional Fighting Classes, students push fitness and performance to the extreme, donning safety gear and putting their training to the test.
At a size of more than 10,000 square feet, the World Kickboxing Academy features a full sports performance facility for students of all ages and fitness goals.
Most mixed martial arts gyms are not based on traditional martial arts systems.
The World Kickboxing Academy's formal curricula incorporate traditional conventions like a color-belt ranking systems and standard-issue outfits.
With set testing schedules, all formal programs encourage students to attain a Black Belt degree.
All Asian Sun schools are staffed by full-time professional Black Belt instructors.
For younger students and casual learners, the school emphasizes performance, technique and fitness -- not fighting.
"You are learning kickboxing from a guy who has over 50 professional kickboxing matches, but you're learning it in a safe environment," says Andrachik.
"Students work hard, but take it easy on each other -- which, really is how all professionals train."
Andrachik, a Hudson resident, and Madigan both studied Muay Thai under Grand Master Bob Chaney, who studied kickboxing full-time while living in Thailand.
A former World Karate Champion, Chaney also is a seventh degree black belt in Karate and Tae Kwon Do.
He has trained 217 national champions in Karate and Tae Kwon Do and trained eight World Muay Thai champions. He has been inducted to four martial arts Hall of Fames.
Madigan, 36, has studied martial arts since he was 14. He has a 5-2 professional record and is 18-2 as an amateur.
His fights have appeared on ESPN. At Orville High School, he formerly held a record for discus. He has been active with Boxers Against Drugs.
Andrachik was personally taught by Grandmaster Il Joo Kim.
Andrachik is a ninth Dan Black Belt, the highest rank in the USA. He is a certified Muay Thai Black Sash.
He serves as a USA Taekwondo Martial Arts Commissioner and Sports Chairman of Lake Erie Taekwondo.
For details about the World Kickboxing Academy, visit www.WorldKickboxingAcademy.com.