Another family-based business is making an Albertville mall area a hub for kids these days. And this latest one is set to kick into action.
National Karate school has joined Kremer Toy and Hobby and Forte Music Academy in the business center along County Road 37 (behind Carbiou). Soon to be joined by the reborn Bravo Dance, the area is hopping with family attractions. And that’s what drew owner Christa Jordahl to Albertville in the first place.
“It’s just a great location. To have Kremer here, which is established family business, and the music school is just a real plus. And it’s a good location for me, living in Albertville. Plus, this was a bigger market we wanted to try on the edge of the Twin Cities, and we think Albertville is one of those up-and-coming places again,” Jordahl said.
National Karate is in Jordahl’s blood. A champion herself, she was trained by her father, who opened National Karate locations around the Twin Cities in the 1980s. She moved to Kimball, Minn., and the family opened their first location in the St. Cloud area. After she opened the Sartell location, she bought the St. Cloud business and eventually eyed Albertville for a spot closer to the Cities.
“The staff and manpower has grown up there, and my husband works around here. Looking at the schools here, we like the area. There’s not a full-service location like ours in Albertville that can meet different ages and different abilities and have kids at the same level in the same class like National can. So it was a need we saw in the community.”
National Karate is based out of Texas, with roots in the same schools that trained karate legend and Hollywood star Chuck Norris. After coming to Minnesota in the 1970s, the schools caught on quickly because “there was nothing else like it,” Jordahl said.
“The curriculum is designed by black belts who are accomplished in what they do. The organization is so tight-knit. And there’s a stress to understand kid psychology as much as kid fitness in our classes. The level of what we can offer is so much more diverse that way, as we break it down to different levels,” Jordahl said.
Opening in July, Jordahl said the reaction has been really good so far.
“We wanted to get rolling before back-to-school, because that’s when we knew things could really pick up,” she said. “It was a busy August already. We’ll see more walk-in business here than we have at our established locations, like Sartell. The walk-up traffic has been great.
Classes are ongoing, and kids and adults can hop in at day on the calendar their class is offered at the level they need. If someone’s already a green belt, they can find a class that’s at his or her level. If the student needs to start at the very beginning, there are classes at that level each week, too. Competitive karate is also part of the curriculum, if someone wants to hit the tournament circuit.
“We do train for competition, but it’s not what we’re all about. Right now, in this community, it’s about introducing karate to kids and adults who want to learn, and working with some of the experienced kids to help them grow,” she said.
National Karate, Bravo, Kremer Toy and Hobby and Forte Music are planning a huge “Parking Lot Party” from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 at Albertville Plaza (the mall) on County 37, just west of County 19 (LaBeaux Avenue Northeast). Lunch will be served from 11:30 to 1, and there are great discounts on classes and merchandise available.
For more info on National Karate, check them out on Facebook.