Greg Williams of Dalton has moved his Kaze Dojo Martial Arts studio to a one-story building on a corner of Railroad and Depot Streets in Lancaster. His space for teaching self-defense skills is in the front, and Peter Rizzo's ramped training studio, that is still undergoing some needed renovations, is in the rear. Photo by Edith Tucker. (click for larger version)
December 18, 2013LANCASTER — The board of selectmen recently encouraged two successful local entrepreneurs — Greg Williams (kazejujitsu.com) of Dalton and Peter Rizzo of Lancaster — to move their businesses to the downtown area by providing each of them with a $2,000 low-interest loan to help defray moving and start-up costs.
"I'm very grateful to the board for its encouragement," Williams said in a Wednesday afternoon interview. "My clientele ranges in age from four years old to 72, and I offer beginner and advanced classes six days a week, Monday through Saturday."
He opened his new studio in the freshly painted grey building on Monday, Dec. 2. Its front outside entrance sports a bright red Asian-appearing double-topped "gate," some Japanese characters, and windows reminiscent of paper shoji screens.
Williams' new space boasts adequate space for the first training cage for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in the North Country, which he described as the fastest growing sport in America. Many of those interested in taking up this activity will undoubtedly transition from other self-defense activities but Williams anticipates that some who give it a try will be first-time fighters.
Williams' regular classes, all of which are co-ed, include "pee-wee" groups of youngsters aged four to seven, including jujitsu under a belt-rating system, and also kids' classes for those ages seven to 14.
Adult classes are for those ages 15 and up.
Williams also has competitive grappling teams for those aged seven and up who enjoy tournament competition in Vermont, Maine, and Mass. Grapplers, who operate under different rules than wrestlers, practice three days a week.
Williams also offers a recreational co-ed boxing program as well as a women's cardio-fitness kick boxing program.
The fitness expert, who holds black belts in five specialties, opened up a rabbit-warren of spaces previously occupied by a chainsaw sales company. Its walls are sheathed in attractive pine boards, and its hardwood floors were recently sanded and finished.
"I'm eager to attract some new clients," Williams explained. "I'm sure that there are many people in Lancaster and its neighboring communities that would enjoy finding gift certificates under their Christmas trees." Those who sign up now can come free to the balance of this month's classes.
"I have a Holiday Party planned on Saturday, Dec. 21, to which all past, present, and future Kaze Dojo Martial Arts students are invited," he said.
Kaze Dojo was based for five years in the Evergreen Sports building in Lisbon. Prior to that he was off King's Square in Whitefield for three years.
Williams has an eighth-grade daughter at the Lancaster School and an older daughter who is a student at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.
Some work must still be completed at Rizzo's training studio.