ARLINGTON — Landon Showalter wants the community to know that the Arlington Kickboxing Academy hasn’t shut down, but has instead simply moved to 5919 195th St. NE. Indeed, the reason for AKA’s move is one that many businesses would hope to have.
“We just didn’t have enough room at the old place,” said Showalter, owner of the Arlington Kickboxing Academy, who invited the community to an open house to check out his new facility on Saturday, Jan. 12. “We liked that location, but we outgrew the building, and after four months here, we’ve already had to rearrange the mats because we’re starting to outgrow this place.”
Showalter has retired from competing in mixed martial arts himself, but he still serves as a coach to other competitors, and he’s supported at the Arlington Kickboxing Academy by his lead instructor, Ken Alexander, and his assistant instructor, Kevin Butler, both of whom come to the field with at least three years of experience apiece.
“Our main focus is on being involved in the community as a whole, though,” Showalter said. “We help students whether they want to be physically fit or able to defend themselves. We get a lot of wrestlers between seasons who are looking to stay in shape, and we offer fitness clubs and boot camps for regular folks.”
Showalter estimated that the Arlington Kickboxing Academy currently numbers at least 100 students, who attend a variety of different tailored programs, from the morning fitness sessions to those offered in the evenings.
“You don’t have to be a member,” Showalter said. “We get a lot of parents late at night, after they’ve had a chance to get their kids settled down and quiet.”
Showalter is pleased not only with his new location’s larger interior space, with its minimum of walls and its high ceiling, but also with its proximity to the Arlington Airport trail and the garage door that serves as the front wall of the building.
“When summer comes, we can just roll that up and enjoy the open air,” Showalter said. “This place is more functional for pull-up bars and battle ropes. I think I’m going to hang some cross-fit rings and ropes from the ceiling as well.”
Besides the expertise of himself and his fellow instructors, Showalter believes what sets the Arlington Kickboxing Academy apart from other fitness clubs is its camaraderie.
“This isn’t just another 24-hour treadmill gym,” Showalter said. “We’re a tight-knit family here. I’ve made a lot of friends through the Arlington Kickboxing Academy, and I’ve seen their lives improve through martial arts. I may be retired from competition, but when my guys get punched in the ring, I feel it too.”
To that end, Showalter invited the community to the Arlington Submission Challenge at Soccer First Indoor Sports, located at 19805 74th Ave. NE in Arlington, on Saturday, Jan. 19. The day kicks off at 9 a.m. with same-day weigh-ins and is set to include grapplers from across Washington state, and even Canada.
For more information, call 360-435-8814 or log onto www.arlingtonkickboxingacademy.biz.