Get a kick out of this!

Karate Kids

Yak's Corner

Just for kids

February 15, 1999|By Stan Dorsey

The Yak took a look in the doors of Master D.S. Kim's school, and one thing was clear: Karate is making a comeback. Dressed in black or white uniforms and wearing different colored belts, about 20 kids practiced kicks and punches while screaming out, ``Aieee.''

Across the United States, kids are getting more involved in martial arts. Many are signing up for the confidence that comes with learning to defend yourself, while others see it as a fun sport to join. Martial arts refers to the many different forms of self-defense practiced throughout the world. Most originated in Asia.

Tae kwan do (pronounced tie-kwan-doh), which originated more than 2,000 years ago in Korea, is one of the world's most popular martial arts forms. It's what students as young as 3 and as old as 60 practice at Master Kim's school in Michigan. And it's also going to be an official Olympic sport for the first time in the year 2000. Tae kwan do is focused on using legs and kicks, compared to other forms of martial arts that might focus on hands or even weapons.

Belts are used in the sport to show rank. Generally, a white belt is for new students and black belt shows the highest rank.

Andrew Skwiercz, 12, enjoys the kicks and self-defense techniques but thinks that the discipline is important too.

Students are required to attend class at least twice a week, they must always answer ``yes sir'' or ``no sir'' and they spend a lot of time learning how to control their moves.

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