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'Urban Kempo' Dojo to Open in Clarendon

The Urban Kempo studio grand opening is in the works.

A new dojo is opening up on 3000 N. Washington Blvd., the space formerly occupied by Hollywood Tans.

"We emphasize fitness and lifting people’s spirits," said Michael Herway, 34, owner of the 2,660-square-foot studio to be named Urban Kempo.

Herway began teaching martial arts six years ago and worked for Potomac Kempo in Old Town before deciding to branch out on his own. Kempo is a style of martial arts that is not a sport, unlike Jujitsu, and focuses on “street self defense.”

“My goal is to make sure they can defend themselves,” Herway said. “Kempo assumes that you are going to be attacked at close range and that you could get attacked by more than one person or someone who is a lot bigger.”

Kempo said that classes will be offered for clients of all ages, including children.

For kids it’s about learning focus, respecting authority, exercising,” Herway said.

Herway said that he hopes the studio will open in a month or so, depending on the time line for construction and the speed of the permitting process. A grand opening celebration is in the works, though what he is looking forward to getting the business up and running.

“This is what I love to do,” Herway said.

Updates will be posted at urbankempo.com, which is currently under construction.

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