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Taekwondo is an important tradition throughout the Brower family.

Melanie and Jake Blauer have black belts, as do three of their four children. Fourth, their youngest, is currently training to earn one.

They began practicing martial arts in their hometown of Boise. When Jack Brower was hired by WSU, they moved to Pullman, which meant saying goodbye to their kickboxing coach and school.

“We missed out,” Jack Brower said. “The plan does not exist in the area.”

So the Blauers decided to create one of their own. Last year, they started Inspired Martial Arts, a chapter of the National Martial Arts League, at the Gladish Community Center.

“We want to continue and build on this community and the benefits we see with our family here at Pullman,” said Jake Blauer.

Since then, the number of students they teach has grown to 50, and they need more space. Meanwhile, the Gladish room they share with the yoga studio is being renovated.

That’s why, in February, they moved into their new location at 1475 South Pullman Avenue.

Melanie Blauer said she believes Inspired Martial Arts appealed to students because it met Pullman’s needs. She said her parents told her they had wanted to try the martial art for years, but faced a lack of options.

“I think that’s something that Pullman doesn’t have here,” she said. “So now we can bring it here, and people want to do it.”

Melanie Blauer emphasizes that it’s not just about learning to defend yourself. They have been working hard to teach life skills, especially to younger students, she said. She said they teach a different skill every week.

Respect is the life skill her class focuses on this week. Other weeks, it might be discipline, goal setting, or perseverance.

Blauer asked parents to rate their children based on how they demonstrated these life skills at home.

“We can really support and help our families and help them raise their children to be good people,” she said.

Just 30 yards or so from South Street, Inspired Martial Arts is the future home of V7 Martial Arts, a Moscow martial arts school that teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, functional fitness, boxing, mixed martial arts and karate. It will expand to a second location in Pullman this summer.

Jack Brower said the rise of the Pullman martial arts option is good news for the community.

“There are different styles of martial arts that appeal to different types of people, so I think it’s good that there are different forms in the community now and people can have those options,” he said.

Inspired Martial Arts operates Monday through Thursday and teaches students ages 4 and up.

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