The way Fusion Martial Arts owner Matt Blomquist sees it, yoga and taekwondo have quite a bit in common.
Both foster discipline, confidence and inner strength, Blomquist said. Both are also a form of physical meditation, he added.
Which is why Blomquist plans to partner with Twin Cities yoga instructor Brigitte Koepke and open a new yoga studio adjacent to his martial arts academy off the intersection of Diffley Road and Lexington Avenue South in Eagan. The new business, called Fusion Yoga, has a tentative opening date of Nov. 1, Koepke said.
Once it opens, the 1,000-square-foot yoga studio will focus on heated classes, according to Koepke. Room temperatures during classes will be kept between 85 and 105 degrees, which warms the body and muscles, elevates the heart rate quickly and encourages detoxification, Koepke said. The studio will offer both beginning and advanced yoga classes, Koepke said.
"There’s really not a heated yoga studio in the south suburbs that offers what we’re going to be offering," Blomquist said.
Koepke, who studied dance at the University of Minnesota, began teaching yoga five years ago. She and Blomquist met while he was attending a yoga session that she led. Blomquist, a passionate yoga enthusiast, decided the expansion would be a natural fit for his business.
Over the next several months, the pair will oversee substantial renovations to the storefront adjacent to Blomquist's martial arts academy. Eventually, the studio and martial arts training gym will be attached via a common lobby. The yoga studio will also feature changing rooms, a sound system and full-length mirrors for aligning posture, Koepke said.
Once the renovations are complete, Blomquist plans to maintain his focus on martial arts while Koepke manages the yoga studio. Koepke hopes to offer as many as six classes each day and will be employing 10 instructors.
"It's designed to be a full-time center, so that regardles of people's schedules, there will be a place for them at some point throughout the day," Blomquist said.
Blomquist, who took over Fusion Martial Arts when he was only 21 years old, painstakingly built his business around a local community of committed martial arts students. His commitment to his students, he said, helped him succeed even as the recession claimed other small businesses.
Both he and Koepke say they are excited to start a new chapter in their professional lives.
"I think it’s incredibly exciting. It’s a combination of nervousness and excitement, because there is a lot on the line," Blomquist said. "We're both so passionate about it and want it to do well."