Premier Martial Arts emerges from long recovery after flooding

When burst pipes caused extensive flooding at the West Linn-based Premier Martial Arts studio last December, “it was like a hurricane went through,” according to Amanda Stein.

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Premier Martial Art's new space at the Robinwood Center is freshly fitted with a raised ceiling, vinyl floors and LED lighting. Stein, whose husband Scott owns and runs Premier, knew right away that the nearly 10-year old studio at the Robinwood Center would face an extensive renovation process. Retail Opportunity Investments Corporation (ROIC), which owns the Robinwood Center, allowed the martial arts studio to move into a vacant room across the parking lot, but the timetable for a full recovery was up in the air.

The following six months were, in Stein’s words, “really tough,” but in June Premier Martial Arts finally opened up its newly renovated studio, just next door to the old location after re-negotiating a lease with ROIC.

Photo Credit: TIDINGS FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - The damage caused after burst pipes last September was so severe that Amanda Stein likened it to the aftermath of a hurricane. “It’s been a long year financially for us, because lots of people thought we were closed,” Amanda Stein said. “But it’s also difficult to sign people up in a temporary space.”

That space was an old dance studio without heating or air conditioning, which only made things more difficult.

The Steins did what they could to keep business humming as the new year rolled in, and it wasn’t until this past April that they were able to begin renovating the new space.

In the end, it was worth the wait.

“The whole space was taken all the way down to the studs, so everything is brand new,” Amanda Stein said. “We raised the ceiling and put in energy efficient insulation, which is great and green but also saved money because it’s less expensive to air condition and heat.”

Also installed were new LED lights that can be dimmed as needed.

“We wanted it to be a space that’s open and fresh, not stuffy or florescent,” Amanda Stein said. “We want it to be a community area.”

The studio’s size, in terms of square footage, is more or less the same, but Scott Stein said the layout has changed for the better.

“The way we laid it out is much more efficient,” he said. “It has a much bigger feel to it, and we didn’t lose any mat space.”

Now, what the Steins believe to be the largest martial arts studio in West Linn is running stronger than ever. The studio held its first black belt testing ceremony June 28, and the Steins are hoping for a steady climb in membership to make up for lost time earlier in the year.”For July, we’re doing ‘buy one membership, get the next half off,’” Amanda Stein said.

As the studio’s 10-year anniversary approaches in September, what better time to turn over a brand new leaf?

“We’ve been in business in West Linn for ten years, and that’s pretty rare in this town,” Amanda Stein said. “In 10 years, we’ve probably seen fifty business come and go. We’re proud (to be here).”

To learn more about membership for kids, teens, adults or families, visit

By Patrick Malee
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