Aug. 14, 2006

New owner of Northwest Martial Arts

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

New owner of the TaeKwonDo school Todd Malenke, is hoping to attract more people to the mat.

Northwest Martial Arts-Cokato brings a larger organization to the area, Malenke said.

“Being part of a large, well established organization brings quality and special opportunities for students that a small school can’t,” he said.

Master Tom Malone turned the keys over to Malenke for his Third Street martial arts gym due to distance and personal reasons, according to Malenke.

The 2000-year-old Korean art is still evolving today with new scientifically developed techniques. It has even become an Olympic event, Malenke said.

“It’s the most practiced martial art in the world,” he said.

TaeKwonDo focuses primarily on the lower body with kicking and spinning techniques that use the stomach and legs, whereas Karate is a Japanese art that uses the upper body with blocks and punches, Malenke explained.

Northwest Martial Arts combines TaeKwonDo and Hapkido, the art of self defense, Malenke explained.

A larger school, such as Northwest Martial Arts, can offer more specialized training through top martial artists in the country that smaller schools don’t have the resources for.

Malenke urges anyone and everyone to “get on the mat and try it out.”

Martial arts has a lot to offer for many people, he said.

What Malenke enjoys most about the art is the discipline and fitness it offers.

With many years of experience, Malenke has a high retention rate among his students. “Some may move away, but few drop out,” Malenke said.

He offers programs to students as young as 4-years-old which he refers to as “edu-tainment.”

The little ninja program is for kids four to 6-years-old which is a half-hour, two times a week.

Beginners and advanced youth and adult programs are one hour long, three days a week.

In this time, Malenke covers physical fitness, yoga, and technical education.

He even teaches some words of the Korean language related to counting, body parts, stances and manners, Malenke said.

“It’s a high-energy class,” he said.

Malenke is hoping to be involved with the Dassel-Cokato Community Education and area schools. In the past, he has taught self-defense to Girl and Boy Scouts and to a women’s shelter.

Stop in to Northwest Martial Arts-Cokato at 120 Third Street W. for details, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 4:45 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. or reach Malenke at (320) 583-7194.

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