Friday, October 12, 2012
By EARTHA TERRELL
Union Elementary School students pushed their bodies and minds to the limit as they learned the art of Korean Taekwondo during their physical education classes Oct. 3.
Martial Arts Center owner and Black Belt Tom Ritchie gave students a hands-on learning session, which included several defensive and offensive Taekwondo techniques during their gym classes throughout the week and after school.
Ritchie taught students coordination, self-protection and mental focus, which are all characteristics he encouraged students to utilize in school and other areas of their lives.
“Taekwondo helps you in three ways – it helps you protect yourself, it helps you focus and it helps with coordination. Anything that helps with coordination is going to help make you better at anything else you do,” Ritchie said.
While students practiced their high kicks and blocking styles, Ritchie stressed the importance of safety, not only during his class, but when students are at home as well.
“If you skateboard or ride your bike, make sure you are wearing your helmet and are protected,” Ritchie said.
Principal Michael Masucci said the event was beneficial for students because it offered children an opportunity to build their characters as well as promoted physical activity.
“I believe that anything that the school can promote to encourage students to be more active is a positive. His program offers self-defense and enhances character skills as well,” Masucci said.