Growing up in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, Louis Toledo “got into a little trouble” with the law at age 15.
To put him back on the right path, a police officer — soon to be Toledo’s instructor — got Toledo involved in karate.
Flash forward to June 2009 when Toledo offered free traditional Japanese karate lessons with the Township of Maplewood at the Civic House in Memorial Park. The lessons were a hit, and when Toledo lost his job as a part of the economic downturn, he decided to make karate instruction his profession.
Toledo cut the ribbon on Maplewood Karate on Valley Street in June 2011. Now at 97 Baker Street, the business continues to thrive. The studio offers strictly traditional Japanese and Okinawan karate (Toledo says many studios advertising karate actually teach tae kwon do or Korean-influenced karate), sports martial arts, and kickboxing.
Maplewood Karate offers Karate Kids classes for children ages four and up. There are also classes for all ages and a popular Family Karate program where parents and children enjoy training together. Those interested can try a class for free.
Maplewood Karate is still accepting registrants for fall 2014 after-school classes (the session started on September 1). Those interested can register over the phone (973-996-8066) or at the studio on 97 Baker Street:
- Ages 4-5 4:00 pm Mon.- Thur. 45 min
- Ages 6-8 5:00 pm Mon.- Thur. 45 min
- Ages 9+ 4:00 pm Mon.- Thur. 60 min
Maplewood Karate, 97 Baker St, Maplewood NJ 07040, maplewoodkarate.net, 973-996-8066