OCEAN PINES – After more than a decade in West Ocean City, a move to Ocean Pines has allowed a popular karate business to more than quadruple in size.
Chesapeake Martial Arts, formerly located off Route 611 in West Ocean City, moved to Cathell Road in Ocean Pines last month. The new location has allowed the facility to expand beyond martial arts and tai chi to become a true kids’ center.
“The day we put the sign up we had people signing up,” said Jim Heaney, a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do who runs the center with his wife Kim, a seventh-degree black belt who has been training in martial arts for more than 33 years.
The community is invited to get a glimpse of the new facility during a grand opening celebration this Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 20, Chesapeake Martial Arts (CMA) will host a carnival to celebrate its new location in Pines Plaza. The event will feature free classes throughout the day, a moon bounce, demonstrations, a dunk booth and carnival games. A rain date is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 21.
Jim Heaney is eager for area residents to step inside the expansive 12,000-square-foot facility, made bright and bold with a blue and green paint job. A lounge area gives parents space to relax and access WiFi while a huge gym and a variety of classrooms are designed for children’s use.
“We want people to walk in and say ‘wow,’” Heaney said.
Though they’re still settling in, staff members at CMA were putting the final touches on the new location this week. A movie screen is being installed in one of the facility’s many rooms while a 5,000-square-foot playground is being set up in the side yard. A game room will provide arcade-style entertainment while children will have access to a snack bar for food and drinks.
“It just takes time,” Heaney said.
Nevertheless, children are already making the most of the center. In addition to the tai chi and martial arts classes that have traditionally been offered by Chesapeake Martial Arts, the company continues to conduct a summer camp and offers an after school program with pickup from local schools included. The new facility will allow additional childcare options for parents, such as a Saturday night kids’ night. Heaney believes the kids’ night, which runs from 6-9 p.m. and is designed to give parents some free time, will prove popular. Each evening will feature a different theme — dodgeball, for example — to keep children active. He also has plans to offer a 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday session.
“We have plenty of fun for the kids,” Heaney said. “They can come and be around kids and have fun.”
The new programs and events are an attempt to move beyond martial arts to become a true activity center for children.
“We offer it all,” said Salina KC, general manager at Chesapeake Martial Arts. “Anyone can be a part of CMA.”
In addition to its own programs, CMA will also host the Jr, Seahawks Wrestling team on site. A large side gym at the new facility has been created for the team’s use.
Heaney says it’s hard to believe the program he and his wife started in a 1,400-square-foot location a decade ago has grown to a 12,000-square-foot operation with 15 employees.
“It’s been a good journey,” he said.
CMA offers martial arts classes for children and adults as well as summer camp, after school care, tai chi, kickboxing, Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. For more information visit www.cmakarate.com or call 410-208-4100.