BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – The Applegate Martial Arts Academy is a new fitness academy business located in Bellows Falls, offering martial arts instruction and classes for adults and children of all ages and abilities. Opened in early August and owned by Bellows Falls residents Patrick and Megan Applegate, the academy is located at 7 Westminster St., near Jim’s Arcade.
“Owning our own academy has always been a dream for Patrick and me,” Megan Applegate said. “We’ve been part of some great schools around the country, including Alaska, Houston, El Paso, but having our own place has always just seemed a bit out of reach until the universe sort of opened the way for us one day.
“We had been asking around about potential business spaces and when the opportunity at 7 Westminster St. opened up quickly. The landlord agreed to give us the space and Applegate Martial Arts Academy was finally coming true.”
In just a month’s time, the Applegates prepared the new academy space and opened the doors to the public Aug. 5, receiving a warm reception from the community. “It certainly helps that we know so many great people and the kids within our community,” Megan said.
Patrick Applegate is a second-degree blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Gracie Barra, the largest association in the world. A former high school wrestler, Patrick started practicing Jiu Jitsu in 2005 and placed third in the world at the largest level black competition in 2008. He has also coached mixed martial arts since 2010, and four of his fighters have reached the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Megan Applegate started practicing martial arts in 2002 and has a brown belt in Judo and a purple bet in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She had a 3-1 professional MMA record in the works when she was diagnosed with a pre-fight brain aneurysm and forced to retire. She has since turned her concentration to coaching and mentoring.
“Patrick is the ‘professor,’ what Brazilian black belt teachers are referred to as, and the brains and face of the academy, while I am a hybrid coach/cheerleader, bookkeeper, marketer, interior decorator, extrovert person who connects with the public. Patrick is a natural leader and sets a positive, empowering tone for the classes.”
Applegate Martial Academy offers classes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and kickboxing for adults and kids ages 5 and older. Classes are separated into a junior program for ages 5-12, a youth program for ages 13-17, and an adult program. They also offer 30-minute high intensity interval training circuit classes, four times a week and a gentle stretching and flexibility recover class Friday evenings.
“Our classes have filled up quickly, therefore our schedule is expanding with several new classes added already,” Megan added. “We’ve had such a great reception from the general community and downtown businesses. We are also hoping to celebrate with a grand opening during the downtown Bellows Falls Third Friday event Oct. 18, which will offer demonstrations and giveaways to help introduce our programs to anyone interested in learning more about what we offer.”
The Applegate Martial Arts Academy is open weekdays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon. For more information, visit www.applegatemartialarts.com.