Children kicked and punched their way to the rank of Yellow Belt at Clarks Green Tae Kwon Do Oct. 12. Not unlike many other schools of martial arts, parents looked on with pride as 16 children broke wood, performed their techniques and demonstrated self-defense skills. Pictures were snapped, and laughter was heard just as much as the spirit yells called Ki-Haps. While the scene was familiar, there is something unique about this program, according to its organizers.
While most schools begin as commercial endeavors or hobbies, this one sprung up as an outreach to the community. The teacher, who holds instructor level black belt rank in three Korean arts, also happens to be the pastor of Clarks Green United Methodist Church, where the classes are held. With bullying such an issue for children today, this outreach strives to build up participants in a way that instills assurance, esteem and values, according to Pastor Brent Stouffer of Clarks Green United Methodist Church, 119 Glenburn Road.
The school's motivation is also reflected in its attitude toward tuition. Classes cost a suggested donation of $5 per week. However, if this is not manageable, people are invited anyway. For details, contact the church at 570.586.8946.