Derderian Martial Arts showcases new facility


“I’m so excited for you guys,” Melissa Alviti told Raffi and Susan Derderian late Saturday morning. “This place is absolutely beautiful.”

Many other people were also as equally complimentary to the Derderian’s during Saturday’s grand opening of their sparkling new and spacious Martial Arts Studio that’s now located in the recently upgraded Carpionato Complex located at 11 Commerce Way off Atwood Avenue in Johnston.

Derderian Martial Arts has been in business for a quarter century, but the last 20 years has been located on the second floor of the Atwood Centre at 1478 Atwood Avenue, where the Derderian’s held classes in a combined total of five office suites that covered a approximately 4,200 square feet.

Raffi Derderian is an 8th Degree Black Belt and has been training in martial arts since 1973. Susan, meanwhile, is a 4th Degree Black Belt with 25 years experience and doubles as a yoga instructor.

That’s why, as Raffi Derderian explained Saturday, “we offer yoga classes that Susan teaches.”

But by and large, the focus at their studio is martial arts.

Now, as some noted while congratulating the Derderian’s on their move, “there’s no problem with parking and this place is so bright.”

However, the Derderian’s new location is surprisingly smaller than the original home of Derderian Academy of Martial Arts.

“Believe it or not, we only have 4,000 square feet here,” Raffi Derderian said. “But this is a nice upgrade; we’re just so happy to be here.”

So the Derderian’s now have a new home where they’ll continue to offer top-flight classes for men, women and children ages four and up just like they’ve done for years.

“Adults love the fitness element to martial arts,” Raffi Derderian said. “Children get exercise while be coming more confident, disciplined and respectful. I have always said there is nothing better for children than martial arts. These days, bullying and women’s violence are hot topics in the news and social media. They are issues we have been helping people overcome for 25 years.”

Derderian also said: “Many of our students have had to deal with this in their lives. I am proud to say that through their experience with our academy, they have worked through them successfully.”

Now, Raffi and Susan can continue their work in their new location which is owned by the Carpionato Corporation that the couple emphasized is known for maintaining their properties in a first rate fashion.

“We are so happy to be part of this beautiful place,” Raffi said. “There is nothing we don’t love about it. Tons of parking, a great tenant mix … we look forward to many years here in the Johnston Plaza.”

The skilled Martian Arts teacher suddenly stopped talking and a wide smile appeared on his face.

“We moved our school in just three days with the help of our amazing group of students,” he said. “So many pitched in to help and worked so hard to make this a smooth transition; could not have done it without them. Susan and I are grateful to all of them.”



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