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Traverse City Karate Class - How It Changed One Boy's Life

Andrew was eight years old. He was shy and small for his size. Andrew lived in Traverse City, a community located in northern Michigan. Andrew lived back and forth between his mom and dad who were divorced several years prior. Andrew had tried many sports over the years but had not clicked with any of them. He had always loved martial arts television shows like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kickin It and the movie Karate Kid but he had never trained at a real Karate Dojo. In the fall of his third grade year - Andrew was invited by a class mate to attend a birthday party at the Seung-ni Martial Arts Academy located in Traverse City. At the party, Andrew and the other guests did a lot of fun Karate kicks, punches, cool moves and games. Andrew even got to break a real board. After the martial arts birthday party, he convinced his mom to let him try some karate lessons. The rest as they say .... is history.

Andrew's First Day Of Karate Training In Traverse City

Andrew's first martial arts lesson at the Seung-ni Academy was with Master Kyle Scott. Master Scott gave him a tour, explained the martial art school rules and then had him try on his new karate uniform. It fit great and he felt great in it. As his mom watched with a big smile from the back of the gym the master and young student began Andrew's journey into martial arts. Bowing, saying "yes sir", how to make a fist, how to throw a proper karate punch and kick were all practiced with great focus. A focus that Andrew's mother had not seen out of him ever - especially in regards to his school work that sometimes struggled. After 1/2 hour the lesson was over and Andrew was bowing out to say goodbye and literally skipped to the car feeling so confident and happy. The first day of Karate had been a huge success.

Second Day Of Karate Brought Many More Lessons & Smiles

Andrew's next lesson at the Traverse City martial arts academy was in his first group class. Andrew would begin training in the Beginning Child class with other young students who were just starting out. Master Scott bowed in all the white cladded students (buzzing with energy having just gotten out of school) and they began training with a fun agility course. Soon it was time for karate stretches, push-ups, sit ups and meditation to focus their mind. Four rows of beginning martial arts students then spent the next 30 minutes or so practicing kicks, punches and blocks. Near the end of class, Master Scott had everyone sit down and they talked about obeying their parents and why every karate kid was required to do so if they were going to learn the "secret moves" of the Academy - Master Scott said with a smile. The class ended with "belt of doom." A game where the karate teacher ties knots in the end of his black belt and tries to hit the kids while they jump, duck and dodge. Andrew, even though it was his first class, won the game and the respect of his new peers.

Karate Confidence Spilled Over Into All Parts Of His Life

At the Traverse City elementary school Andrew attended he had always had trouble with one student, a difficult boy named Max. Andrew had tried to get along with Max for two years, but Max always picked on and bullied Andrew. Sometimes Andrew did not even want to go to school, recess or the cafeteria because he was worried about having to deal with Max. Andrew had never told his parents or his teachers because he was embarrassed. On this day, however, Andrew felt different. It was the second recess of the day and all the kids were playing soccer. Andrew had joined in even though he was not the fastest player by far. After only several minutes Max decided that he would take the soccer ball and start his own game. He approached Andrew and demanded the ball. Normally Andrew would give in. But not today. Although not a kick or punch was ever thrown -- Andrew stood tall, confident and sure of him self -- he stuck up for himself and did not give the ball to Max. Max verbally and even physically threatened Andrew. But Andrew was no longer afraid and his new found karate confidence was strong. Eventually Max realized he could no longer intimidate Andrew and wandered off. Andrew's journey into karate had just begun but it was one he knew would last a long, long time

The Traverse City based Seung-ni Martial Arts Academy teaches Karate for all ages starting at age three with their Little Ninjas thru teen and adult classes. If you would like to have your son or daughter try out karate classes (and see if it is right for them) just call 231-932-4300 or look them up on the web at

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