Martial arts class benefits kids, adults

Staff writer

During his first few years living in Hillsboro, Mervin Lare pondered beginning a martial arts class but was unsure of how to do so.

Lare began taking classes in 2006 at UFM Community Learning Center in Manhattan, and moved up the ranks.

“They had extracurricular activities ranging from basket weaving clear up to zumba,” he said. “In martial arts they had Taekwondo, karate, and kung fu.”

He earned two brown belts, one each in Goshin karate and kung fu, and began his own teaching last spring with the help of a co-worker at Kansas Department of Transportation in Marion.

“I work with Tom Stoppel, and he’s with the recreation commission,” Lare said. “He said I should go talk to Doug Sisk and see about getting something organized. One thing led to another, and last April I started this class.”

Lare heads the Honorable Tiger School of Martial Arts, which meets at 6:30 p.m. Mondays and 6 p.m. Thursdays at Hillsboro Elementary School.

The class teaches Goshin karate, but Lare also can teach Aiki jujitsu and kung fu.

The eldest student in the class at 63, Nanette Forrester joined in November because she thought it would be interesting.

“I thought it would help keep me moving and keep my balance because you don’t want to lose it all,” she said.

Most nights the class averages four adults and four children, ranging from elementary school students to seniors, Lare said.

“I’m the oldest one here, but they make allowances, like tonight I have a pinched nerve and I can’t get on my right knee,” Forrester said. “We have a little one in a wheelchair, and he does all kinds of things, so I really enjoy it.”

While he hopes his class will grow, Lare plans to test for his black belt in Goshin karate by the summer or fall.

He also is working on setting a curriculum for a series of self-defense classes for women.

Anyone interested in joining the class can download a registration form at the Hillsboro Recreation Commission website (http://cityofhillsboro.net/hrc), or call the commission at (620) 947-3490.

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