News: Wax on, wax off: Karate students learn martial arts during energized practice session
Story by Lance Cpl. Charles Clark
IWAKUNI, Japan - Martial arts students practiced self-defense techniques during a children’s karate class in the martial arts dojo at IronWorks Gym here July 7.
The students, ages 5 to 12, stretched, performed strength training, cardio exercises and continued learning self-defense techniques during the practice.
“We go through the basics,” said Brian C. Mallon, an IronWorks Gym karate instructor. “That way the students can learn how to use their full efficiency.”
Karate differs from other martial arts because it is performed standing using upper and lower body strikes and kicks instead of grappling and submission holds like in judo.
During the class, Mallon first called the students to attention and bowed to show respect to him as the instructor, the students as the martial arts disciples.
After the introduction to the class, the students sprinted around the dojo floor to get their bodies warmed up before stretching. When the students ran a few laps, Mallon called them over to start stretching.
Ensuring the students stretch keeps them from getting injured before performing martial arts techniques. Mallon also had the students do push-ups with him in between stretches to help work on the student’s strength.
The students paired up with a partner after stretching. One student held a punching bag while the other student practiced front kicks.
When the teams of students went from one end of the dojo to the other, they switched roles so the students holding the bag could practice their kicks.
Next, punching was added to maneuver to keep the practice varied.
“We try to keep things very balanced,” Mallon said. “This style of karate uses just as much leg kicks as it does upper body strikes.”
Mallon studied each of the student’s techniques. He spent time correcting the student’s techniques and demonstrating how the punches and kicks should be performed.
“Mallon really keeps us on toes,” said Jesse Baker, an 8-year-old white-belt karate student. “We never know what we will be doing when we come to practice.”
When the final kick was flung, Mallon grabbed a foam mat for the students to practice their tumble rolls.
The students made a line in front of the mat and began hurling themselves, one at a time, onto the soft pad.
Mallon helped the students who struggled with the technique and ensured they were rolling correctly across their backs to avoid injuries.
“My son, Jesse Baker, did karate before we moved here,” said Mark D. Baker, a karate student’s parent. “He loved karate so much that I signed him up for this class and he’s been thrilled ever sense.”
After the students finished practicing their tumble-rolls, they played a game, which is meant to ready them for sparring when they get older.
The game was one student attempting to pull another student’s colored ribbon off his or her’s shoulder while protecting their ribbon, which was also hanging from their shoulder.
The students split into two teams. Each team had a leader who chose who would battle it out in the dojo.
Mallon then called the students to attention and dismissed them from the class.
The students, while sweaty and exhausted, ran to their parents with smiles on their faces and bowed out of the dojo.
Karate, a martial arts style developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan, first appeared in the Japanese mainland in the early 20th century.
Isshin-Ryu and Ashihara Karate along with youth and adult judo is taught at IronWorks Gym every week. Call 253-6359 for more details.
This work, Wax on, wax off: Karate students learn martial arts during energized practice session, by Cpl Charles Clark, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.