Kristin Duethorn, Mike Bogdanski

Mike Bogdanski and Kristin Duethorn announced the 30th anniversary of their business, Midtown Fitness and Quest Martial Arts. It has been a full-time professional business located in the heart of Putnam for all 30 of those years. Starting out in the old Cargill Bank building in 1988 and moving to Railroad Street in 2004, the business has served thousands of members, enhancing their fitness and longevity as well as teaching martial arts as a life skill.
Bogdanski, a lifelong Connecticut resident, was drawn to the mind-body balance of martial arts after struggles with bullying in high school. This, in turn, led him to become an anti-bully speaker and activist, a calling that has seen him speak at K-12 schools across the continental U.S. Originally Mike started teaching martial arts as a hobby that quickly took a life of its own.
The hobby was about to become a full-time business and took the path of a full-time commercial school in the Cargill bank building on Main Street in Putnam. Some 20 years ago Bogdanski crossed paths with Duethorn, a former English teacher, in the late 1990s who began training in martial arts with her two sons. Deeply invested in the training, culture, and history of martial arts, Duethorn attained her black belt, became a martial arts instructor and helped Bogdanski further refine the martial arts school and gym as a pillar of the local community. She is now regarded as a high-level competitor, popular women’s self-defense expert and martial arts mentor to school owners and instructors across the USA.
While international in reach (the martial arts school has hosted tournaments and sponsored goodwill trips to countries as diverse as South Korea, Australia, and the U.K.), Midtown Fitness and Quest Martial Arts has always maintained a commitment to the northeastern corner residents who are the heart of its business endeavor. Over its three decades, the business has welcomed many families through its doors (with some members who began as children now bringing their own little ones). The bonds of respect and learning formed between fellow martial arts students and gym members often last a lifetime. It is this focus on tradition and good character, above all, in which they are most invested. Not many businesses can claim to have promoted the development of hundreds of children, teens, adults, and seniors, providing them with a place where they can cultivate their best selves: physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is Mike and Kristin’s humble wish that Midtown Fitness and Quest Martial Arts continue to serve the community and its loyal customers in this way for the foreseeable future.
By James Bogdanski

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