ST. CLOUD -- A local martial arts instructor received a special surprise from an unexpected source.

When Claude Hancock left his martial arts studio this past weekend it was as he describe adequate. However, when he returned words couldn't describe it.

"I came in the lights were off as I left them and as I came close to the building some of the signage caught my eye and as I came in they yelled surprise at me. I was very surprised, I couldn't speak," says Hancock.

His students and their families wanted to do something special for him, and that's when Heather Post got an idea.

"He truly loves martial arts and we wanted to give back and knew there was things he wanted to get done around here he continued to talk about," says Post.

They decided to give the studio and extreme makeover, all within a 48 hour time frame. Post says the project has been in the making for the last month.

"We started by ripping out the carpet and putting in laminate hardwood flooring, finished and painted the walls and totally re-did the bathroom," says Post.

"My drive to work every morning never use to take me by the studio and the last few days I had to stop by and make sure I didn't dream the whole thing," says Hancock.

Seeing the studio was almost too good to be true for Hancock, but the lessons his students taught him will never be forgotten.

"I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to teach them and trying to help others and they (the students) showed me that was a lesson they learned," says Hancock.

"Seeing the look on his face and just the fact we were able to pull everything off in such a short time, HGTV has nothing on us," says Post.

The Hancock American Marital Arts studio is located off of Veterans Drive in the Centennial Plaza.


Martial Arts instructor Claude Hancock (left) teaches his students. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)