Kent native opens Blue Wolf Martial Arts in Stow
Stow – Local youth and adults interested in karate have a new place to do it.
Blue Wolf Martial Arts opened on June 1 at 4964 Darrow Road in Stow, where owner David Cameron runs evening and weekend classes, attracting a variety of different types of students.
“Martial arts, in general, are multi-faceted,” Cameron said. “You have everything from meditation, which is basically breathing, to self-defense, to competition, to fitness. It has so many different aspects and each aspect appeals to different people.
Originally from Kent, Cameron grew up spending a lot of time taking martial arts lessons and competitions.
“I started at the age of 6 in Tae Kwon Do, which is basically Korean kickboxing,” he said. “Thanks to this, I met another karate school and started making weapons. When I left Tae Kwon Do to practice, I switched to their style of karate.
The style Cameron practices now is Issinryu karate. The weapon-based style is Ryukyo Kobudo, he added.
“There are different versions of karate,” he explained. “Each master did it a little differently. There is no simple answer. It was clan based, so each class had their own techniques.
The school Cameron joined after starting Tae Kwon Do was focused on competition, and he gradually began to travel more, compete out of state and even overseas. In recent years he has competed in international competitions in Akron, New Jersey, Augusta, Maine, London and Athens, Greece.
Blue Wolf Martial Arts offers evening classes, as well as weekend classes, he said, adding that he has room for other students.
Cameron said he worked at Revolution Fitness & Therapy, which is located in the same neighborhood in Stow and also offers martial arts lessons at another karate school.
“There were a few students I was teaching in a different place under someone else’s direction, and they kind of followed me,” he said. “When I finally left this school… I saw that other people were interested and this place opened up. I jumped on it, and we’ll see where it goes. It was a matter of months. I saw that the interest was there. I was already teaching next door.
Cameron said he plans to continue competing as a learning medium.
“The more I know, the more I can help them,” he said.
One of the competitions he has participated in includes not only karate but also other forms of martial arts, such as judo and taekwondo. He said he enjoys open tournaments because they help him keep learning.
“It’s basically an international martial arts convention with a tournament, which is cool because you come out of your little box,” he explained.
Competition is also good for young students as they get a feel for where they stand, but not all students will want to compete on a regular basis. Cameron offers classes focused on gaining the fitness benefits of karate, as well as Okinawan meditation and weaponry.
Cameron said much of the learning process focuses on basic movements and then a series of those combined movements, called kata.
“I teach some models, and then the students can kind of create their own after that,” he said. “Once they have learned the alphabet, they can put it together however they want. “
Bare-handed practice involves a certain series of movements, punches, kicks, blocks, etc., he explained. Each weapon has its own unique set of basic and kata moves. The training helps students learn to combine movements in a fluid way, so when they practice they react instinctively.
“Karate competitions usually have three different aspects,” he said. “One is called ‘kata’. In English, these are “shapes”, predetermined patterns of movement. Another aspect is called ‘kumite’ which is basically sparring. You have to take learned movements and put them into practice in one way or another. You react to what’s going on. Some people put on sanitary napkins.
Although the sign on the company reads “Martial Arts,” Cameron said students try his classes for a variety of reasons: fitness, strength, coordination, cardiovascular health and flexibility.
In addition to physical fitness, he said discipline and respect are important parts of karate.
“There is the discipline aspect,” he said. “Can you follow the instructions well?” Can you do something safely without hurting yourself or others. Really, the sky is the limit for what you want out of it.
To register for one of Blue Wolf’s martial arts classes, visit https://www.bluewolfmartialarts.com or contact Blue Wolf at 234-284-9443 or [email protected]
Most classes are offered in the evenings, on weekends and after school hours.
Journalist Bob Gaetjens can be reached at 330-541-9440, [email protected] and @bobgaetjens_rc.