Absolute Fitness & Martial Arts is hoping to attract more Upstate families to its facility with new programs for children and parents, according to Diana Slashinski, its sales and marketing director. “We have an excellent children’s program that’s fairly new,” she said. “It’s growing, so the price point is a little bit less than some of the other karate programs in the area. It’s also the only Krav Maga studio in the Upstate, so we’re one of a kind.”

Krav Maga is the official self-defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces, emphasizing instinctive movements, practical techniques and realistic training scenarios, according to the website for Krav Maga Worldwide. “The children’s program we have is outstanding,” Slashinski said. “Our instructor makes all of the children feel comfortable, and on Thursdays, he has a special class with three little boys who are all autistic. He is qualified to teach special needs, and it’s been really great for their physical and occupational therapy. Sometimes parents of autistic or special-needs children don’t think martial arts would be a good fit for them, but these children have really excelled under our instructor.”

New children’s program aside, the training facility already offers much to lure potential customers. Head instructor and owner Chris Cromer has been training in martial arts for more than 30 years. He’s also a familiar face to those who watch the National Geographic Channel, or more specifically, the TV show “Doomsday Castle,” on which Cromer has appeared as a training specialist for the show’s participants.

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