Merrill Karate Club will be moving into the former Guys Shop building at 913 E. Main St. on Oct. 1. Karate Club owner/instructor Jon Gartmann said the club is outgrowing its current space on First Street.
“The Guys Shop building is five times the size of what we have now,” he said. “We’re very crowded now. I’m finally moving into someplace that’s bigger than what I need and I can grow into it.”
The Merrill Karate Club has been in existence since 1983. Gartmann took over the business four years ago and initially had nine students. Enrollment grew to 135 students this spring.
Gartmann plans to hold his last class in the current building on Sept. 28, make the move overnight, hold an open house on Sept. 29, and be open at the new location Oct. 1.
With the newfound space, Gartmann is hoping to add gymnastics classes, a mixed martial arts training center and a parkour course to the club offerings. The club currently offers a slate of karate, self-defense, mixed martial arts, extreme martial arts and jujitsu classes. To reflect the expanded offerings, the name will be changed to Merrill Karate Club Center of Martial Arts.
Gartmann said the club will take advantage of the building’s back entrance and back parking lot. The Center of Martial Arts will utilize both the ground floor and basement of the building.