Premier Martial Arts to open in Derby

WICHITA — Mark Philbrick left his job at Law Kingdon Architecture a week ago, but not because he didn’t like it.

“Working for an architect was a good job, but it wasn’t my true calling.”

Martial arts is, so Philbrick is opening a school called Premier Martial Arts in Derby.

“I like the quote, ‘It’s never too late to be what you might have been,’” Philbrick says. “I’ve always been passionate about the martial arts.”

His passion began as a child.

“I was bullied in school,” Philbrick says. “I found a release in comic books and martial art movies.”

At age 11, he started doing martial arts.

“It really just helped me, I guess, develop myself more and build confidence.”

Now his own children are 11 and 8 and are inspiring his new career.

“It’s just always kind of been a second job,” Philbrick says.

The school is opening in the Spring Creek shopping center at 1821 E. Madison Ave. in Derby.

Stephanie Wiens of Occidental Management handled the deal.

The school, which will open by October, will offer what Philbrick calls a mixed martial art format. That includes karate, jujitsu and kickboxing.

Philbrick says he’s ranked No. 3 in kickboxing nationally and that kickboxing champion Mike Kuhn, his mentor, is providing help as he opens the school.

Though Philbrick will teach adults and offer kickboxing lessons and cardio classes, he says his focus is on children ages 5 to 12. He especially likes the idea of being able to help them gain confidence through martial arts.

“I definitely don’t want any child to experience what I did.”