Three self-defense classes are being offered for youths and adults through the Becker Community Center for people with little or no training in martial arts.
The classes teach individuals to be respectful, improve physical coordination and hone focus. Participants are shown self-defense methods for general safety, awareness of surroundings and avoiding conflict.
One class has already started its six-week session that began March 10 and runs through April 21. Soo Bahk Do is a beginner class for kids ages 4-13 with a beginner class on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. followed by an advanced class at 6:30 p.m. at Becker City Park.
A Self Defense for Teens class is set to begin an six-week session April 8-May 13 for kids ages 12-18 at the Becker Community Center. The class will focus on self defense methods for general safety and the skills practiced will include sparring, board breaking, improving physical coordination and how to apply the lessons to real life scenarios.
The Self Defense for Teens class will be held Tuesdays from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m.
The third class, Tai Chi for Teens and Adults (Ages 15+) will run a six-week session from April 8 to May 13 from 4:40 to 5:50 p.m. at the BCC. The class is a softer style of karate with focus on stetching, balance, moving, breathing, improving ones circulatory system and a focus on one’s overall health and fitness.
Each class costs $25 for members ($35 for non-members) and is instructed by Pete Johnson of St. Cloud.
Johnson has been actively training at Saint Cloud Soo Bahk Do with his instructor, Master Bill Nelson, who at one time was a police officer in Becker.
Johnson has been practicing in the martial arts now for eight years, starting when he was 21 years old.
“After a lifelong fascination with Chinese Kung Fu movies, I was lucky and found a school that was everything I was looking for,” said Johnson. “What I like the most about Soo Bahk Do is the fighting, to be honest, but the board breaking and brick breaking applications are just a bonus.”
While working with kids, Johnson tries to encourage the aspects of respect and discipline that traditional martial arts offer. “We encourage the kids to be able to know the differences between good and bad choices and what making a good choice is,” he said. “A lot of emphasis is on concentration to help kids better the sport, but more importantly, learning concentration so they can be successful in school.”
Soo Bahk Do is a traditional Korean martial art and its history dates back many centuries. The fascinating and advanced kicking techniques are based on the Moo Duk Kwan philosophy that was developed by founder, Hwang Kee.
Kee also incorporated hard and soft styles of martial arts and trained in parts of China in the 1930s. As a traditional style of martial arts, its purpose is to develop a person’s aspects in order to grow and mature as a person. The philosophy is in the art, it is just as important to be a scholar and develop your intellect as it is to break boards, bricks and learn the physical techniques.
For more information, call the BCC at 763-200-4271 or check out their website at www.beckercommunitycenter.com.