Arrow Martial Arts and Fitness is a local, family-owned and operated martial arts school. Owned by a fun-loving dad (Tim Chewning) and his Ph.D wife (Lisa), the school’s goal is to improve our community by building strong character, improving overall health, and creating athletes through a well-developed martial arts program.
We asked Tim and Lisa some questions about the business. Below are their responses:
What makes you or your business different?
What allows us to stand out from our competitors in the marketplace is that we are a local family, however, we are backed by the largest martial arts organization in the world and feature the country’s original children’s program, and the first-ever pre-k program. While these programs have been copied well over the years, others have never quite lived up to the research and development that goes into these original programs. As a part of the American Taekwondo Association, we have a true instructor certification process and a highly vetted curriculum backed by 2,000 of the top schools in the country. On a local level, because we live and raise children in the area, we are different because we truly believe in growing our neighborhood. This allows us to offer things like financial aid programs for those in need, and reasonable pricing with no long term commitments. Whatever we can do to improve our children and families is what we do.
What is the story behind getting this business started?
We first tried to start our martial arts school almost three years ago when we moved to Springfield Township. We owned four other locations in New Jersey before we moved here and wanted to keep that passion for instruction alive. For various reasons it did not work out at that time, however, three years later, the time was right. My wife and I really enjoy owning a business in our home town. The thought of being able to work with our children’s friends and families on a whole other lever is super exciting to us. There is nothing better to us then this extension of our involvement locally.
Why should people sign up for your classes?
Firstly, when someone signs up with us they are supporting local business at its core. At the same time they will get the support net, curriculum, and professionalism of a major organization. Second, the results of a well-structured martial arts or fitness program are well documented. Martial arts is being suggested by professionals in varying fields of expertise for results in fitness, confidence, goal setting, focus, stress relief and behavior development.
What is one thing you’re known for, or do really well?
As much as I personally love teaching adults in our Krav Maga and fitness programs I would have to say we are most known for the quality of our children’s programs. They are just so well thought out, with longevity and retention in mind. From the victory patch reward system, to the leadership program and the Tiny Tigers age specific pre K program, their is just something for everyone that can keep your interest with micro and macro goals built into the program.
Why did you choose to work and live in Springfield?
Our son Oliver was born with Spina Bifida. Since, he is followed at CHOP and secondary insurance was a guarantee in PA, it made sense to make the move. We specifically landed in Oreland due to its proximity to Lisa’s work as a Professor at Penn State Abington, and the quality of the schools. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy a quick stroll through Chestnut Hill?
Any advice for entrepreneurs or new business owners?
My advice to business owners is that fear has an appropriate place. However, you can’t give it to much of a voice. You see, fear is schizophrenic. It argues both sides of the coin. Fear will tell you that you are to young to get started, that you are to old to get started, that you don’t have enough experience, that you have to much experience. Often times it is important to push fear aside and just start! Start and grow from there. Fear will have you base your current situations on your past ones robbing you of a future. Don’t let fear do that. When the ship is close enough to the dock make the jump and START.
How many employees do you have?
Right now at this location there is myself, as the head instructor, my wife a second degree black belt and Ph.D., as the assistant and program director, and my daughter helps out as a junior leader. We pay her with American Girl credits.
On the Personal Side…
What do you like about Springfield?
We love Springfield. I honestly don’t even know were to start. Every block or cul-de-sac has its very own unique neighborly feel to it. Whether we are driving through downtown Oreland, taking a walk around Erdenheim, or eating at Halligan’s, there is a neighborly feel. This town is like a throw back to the old days, in that there is such a feel of community, friendship and local pride. My wife and I joked when we moved here that it was like Cheers. A place where everyone knows your name and they are glad you came (even when you are from New Jersey and a Giants fan).
Do you have a favorite business or restaurant?
I have to say that we love Oreland Hardware and South Ocean. Our proximity to them could be a good thing or a bad thing with our love of sushi.
Do you have a favorite event in Springfield?
We have always had a blast at the Festival at Enfield School. This year was our first time running the 5K, and Community Day was also a great time.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I am also a pretty big soccer fan so we try to get out the some Union games when we can. Locally, we take walks through the neighborhoods and Chestnut Hill. We also work out quite often as a family.
What superpowers would you choose if you could choose one?
You may have guessed from the business name that I am a huge Green Arrow fan. So I would not have super powers. I would just be a normal person that goes to extraordinary lengths to make a difference. Much like our police, fire, military and local volunteers that are our real word heroes.
If you had just one wish, what would it be?
On a selfish level the wish would be that my son, who has Spina Bifida, would experience all the joys and wonders in life that every child/person is entitled to.
Where have you visited in the US? Which location is your favorite?
Due to our professions, we have been afforded the luxury of frequent travel. As a competitor for over 25 years I have been able to travel all over the US for competitions. So far, we have seen every major city in the US at least once. Our favorite city is a close one, between New York and Philadelphia. But we are truly beach life people at heart, so I would have to say our favorite place is Santa Monica, CA.
What’s your favorite invention? Something you can’t live without?
Sadly, my wife will tell you that the XBOX is the one thing we can’t live without. She would be correct.
Do you volunteer?
We firmly believe in contributing to our community. We volunteer locally to Trinity Church, and also with food shelters mostly in New Jersey still. We are very excited about getting involved with Meals on Wheels locally right now.
Do you support any causes or non-profit organizations?
As parents we try to teach our children about having a giver’s heart. Since more is caught then taught, we know that it starts with us. We give annually to Trinity Church, CHOP and Fred’s Footsteps. In recent years, we also worked with Pocket Change Heroes to build a school in Africa.