Red Dragon Karate School has been a fixture of the Ballston Spa community for the last 30 years. The school provides Tai chi and Karate classes to people of all ages. At Red Dragon, the classes are workouts with a purpose. People don’t come just to sweat, but to take care of their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Instead of wanting to separate body from mind, the classes purposely try to integrate body and mind.
Red Dragon has a history of passing down ownership to students. Previous owner Jeff Melander received Red Dragon from his karate teacher. When Jeff Melander moved to Texas in September, 2015, he offered ownership to one of his previous students, Roland Lavigne. Roland already had owned Eight Star Martial Arts in Warrensburg, but accepted his offer, and has split his time between the two studios since.
Roland Lavigne got his start in martial arts 15 years ago when his 4-year-old nephew, then a white-belt at Red Dragon, said, “Uncle Roland, you should do karate…or are you chicken?” The next day he was enrolled in classes and said he fell in love.
Roland holds a degree in Education and is a certified teacher. He’s grateful he does not have a job as a school teacher because his current job allows him to integrate the type of teaching he actually likes to do. Red Dragon and Eight Star Martial Arts offers four summer sessions of the Karate Arts Motivational Movement Program, which is open to all children. Part of the summer sessions’ focus is on reading and children receive special patches when they read books, one of Roland’s favorite aspects of teaching.
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and some Saturdays (hours vary)