Karate taught for all ages

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:28

SHOHOLA - A lot of intense Korean guttural shouts came from these kids They were competing in the third Annual Karate Championship Tournament held on April 1 at the Shohola Elementary School. Fifty-seven children, from 4 years of age to 17, challenged each others’ skills. They all trained at Jon’s Karate Academy of Montague, N.J. Owner Jon Olmstead, a Dingman resident, has been in business since 1992. He trains kids from 4 years old on up to adults. The competition was for “forms and weapons” which are self defense moves against imaginary attackers. The grand champion was 9-year-old Justin Brauchle who won out against all the others and received an impressive trophy for his efforts. The kids were taught the use of the bo staff, escrima sticks, kama sickles, swords and nunchaku weighted chains; all “weapons” used in the defensive training. Karate teaches children about physical fitness, gaining self-esteem, better social skills, and discipline. Karate training is safer than most in school sport programs and does not force the kids into competing in an environment where “winning at all costs” is often the focus, Olmstead said. “It does not make kids more aggressive in school or among their friends; I explain this to their parents. The non-aggressive philosophy is impressed upon the children during their lessons,” Olmstead said emphatically. Matthew Wilson, 12, and his sister Brianna, 9 years old both won their respective division championship for “forms.” “I like learning to use the weapons and how to defend myself with them. I’ll keep on training till I become full first degree black belt,” said Matthew. “It teaches you how to defend yourself,” said Brianna. Jon’s Karate Academy is located one-half mile from the Milford bridge on the New Jersey side. For more information or to enroll your child, call at 973 293-3377.