Taekwondo Camp Teaches Self Defense, Life Lessons
In the summer months, it’s generally a time of rest and relaxation. But at the World Taekwondo Academy in Maple Grove, the summer is no time to rest if you’re trying to earn a black belt.
“Most people, when they start, we want to try to get them to reach their goal of black belt, that’s why it’s up on the wall,” said Master Barry Shipley, owner and instructor from World Taekwondo Academy.
During the academy’s summer camp, students can come in twice a week for taekwondo classes, followed by other activities with their group.
“It’s really fun. I like it a lot,” said Aaron Garbow, an 11-year-old student from Maple Grove.
Garbow has been involved with taekwondo for the past three years.
“I was kind of inspired after watching some martial arts movies, like ‘Karate Kid’ and stuff,” he said.
Learning Life Skills
This camp will certainly teach him how to do a few of the moves he’s seen on the big screen, but Shipley says taekwondo is about more than kicks and athleticism.
“Our goal is that they’re confident enough to defend themselves if they need to, and that they learn how to be good, successful people,” Shipley said.
Shipley has been a taekwondo instructor for the past 24 years. He says children involved in the program learn confidence, discipline, self-control and respect.
“It’s learning great life skills, but also having a good time, bonding with their teammates and their friends,” Shipley said.
If students want to ultimately earn their black belt, Shipley says it can take three to five years to get to that level. But along the way, the kids develop skills that they’ll be able to use for the rest of their lives.
“I feel very blessed to get up and do something that I love to go do every day, and know that I’m making an impact on people’s lives,” Shipley said.
If you missed out on the summer camp, the World Taekwondo Academy has a fall program where they pick up kids from school and bring them to the academy for classes.