What is your name and are you the owner?
Justin McClarran and yes, I am the owner.
When did you open?
I got my license in February to officially open in March teaching my kids and close friends and teaching virtually. COVID stopped us from expanding beyond that. Now that we are in person at the dojo, we are reaching out to families in the community to come by and give us a try. We are growing and want everyone to be a part of it. It's not my dojo, it’s the community's.
Why in Midway?
I chose Midway because this is home. I've been active Army for the last seven years and we decided as my time comes to an end with the service that Ft. Stewart would be our last stop and I knew a dojo wouldn’t be far behind. After moving here, I quickly learned that there is not a lot to do for families in Midway. I wanted to bring something to the community that would make a positive impact on kids and adults alike to build a strong bond for the area.
Do you teach adults only? Children only? Or both adult and children?
I teach kids and adults. We teach from three years to seniors. A common misconception is community members think they are too old to get into it, but it's just the opposite... That's the perfect time to because of the benefits it boasts, but also because of comradery and fellowship that comes with it.
What makes your Dojo unique?
We are the only dojo in Midway currently located at the Woodland Lakes Community Clubhouse. We are a youth dojo but are quickly growing with a family friendly environment for kids and adults to train and get all the benefits martial arts has to offer such as confidence, coordination, flexibility, improved self-confidence, self-control and more all whole learning self-defense. We are also traditional Japanese style specializing in forms, weapons, and sparring. Our classes ensure that students work hard and have fun at the same time. We will be moving to 9397 E Oglethorpe Hwy, Midway, GA 31320.
Where did you study Karate?
I studied karate where I grew up in Montgomery, Alabama. I was adopted and because of issues I had, my adoptive parents put me in karate up the street from my house when I was 10 – my parents wanted me to get help with my attitude, self-esteem, And a bunch of other issues. What started as a free class, became a way of life. I went up in the ranks steadily improving and after achieving my black belt in high school, began helping to teach kids and adults four nights a week. I opened my first dojo while in college at the University of Alabama. Along with teaching, I was an avid competitor on the Yoshukai Karate National Tournament Circuit where I took top honors multiple times in youth and adult black belt kata, weapon, kumite, and musical form competitions. In 2007, I was awarded Instructor of the Year. After joining the Army, I got stationed in Germany, where taught for the SKIED program and I knew I wanted to continue to pass my knowledge onto my kids and the community. It truly became a family affair.