It’s Tuesday night, and Newton Martial Arts Soke Paul Langford is getting the senior division ready for class.
“Everybody get up, let’s go,” he said.
A handful of students of various ages and colorful belts dress, line up and start stretching.
For the most part, it’s a normal Tuesday night for the veteran Newton group. However, the surroundings are different.
Newton Martial Arts (NMA) kicked its way into a new facility in 2012, giving the group’s instructors, students and parents more space and better amenities to practice their custom Teashikido style of Karate.
In addition to new utility and storage areas, the 4,000-square-foot facility offers a diversity of flooring, including hard tile and a large, Astroturf-like surface for one-on-one practice.
“The padding itself is the size of the old school,” Langford said.
NMA officially opened the doors to its new facility at 118 E. 1st St. on Jan. 3 after more than 20 years on “A” street just a few blocks away. Langford said the old facility will remain open and be used as a “flow-over” area.
“It was getting to the point that we were outgrowing it,” Langford said. “We needed more space.”
After perusing several potential move sites, NMA chose to remain in Newton and move into a building formerly owned and used by Alman’s Home Furnishings.
The building, which was once a furniture show room, eventually became a storage space over the years, Langford said.
NMA instructors and students helped clean the old building before it opened in January, including 72 hours to clean the floors alone.
“The floors are about 40 years old and had 10-15 years of furniture sliding across them,” he said.
Brooke Randall, a freshman at Bandys High School, has been attending NMA for more than eight years. She said the clean-up effort was quite a process.
“It took a lot of cleaning,” she said. “I vacuumed the carpet and had to wash the toilet.”
Randall, an advanced red belt, is two belts away from black. She said the new facility is a lot better.
“I love how it has gotten bigger and there is more space to (practice),” she said.
Randall’s father, Sensei Jimmy Randall, agrees that the space is more appropriate for classes that continue to grow.
“It’s really been a blessing to our teaching,” Jimmy said. “We can give back even more now. They get the gist of working on different floors, which provides practice with different balance issues.”
NMA has had an influx of new students since opening the new facility — six new students in the children’s class and five new students in the senior division.
“We have people stop in on the street and watch,” Jimmy said. “We have people come in and out to talk about it even while we’re cleaning.”
Anthony Church, a brown belt at NMA, has practiced in the old and new facilities.
“Here, we are able to spend a lot more quality time one-on-one,” Church said. “They did such a good job with the place. These instructors really care about what they are doing and it bleeds all over the place.”
Newton Martial Arts meets Tuesdays through Thursdays. The children’s class starts at 5:30 p.m., and the senior division begins at 7 p.m. For more information visit newtonmartialarts.com or find NMA on Facebook by searching Newton Martial Arts.