Millions of American children attend summer camps every year, and for parents, it can sometimes be a chore to find the right one for your child. If you’re looking for something unique this summer, The City of College Station through the Lincoln Recreation Center is offering Kid’s Okinawan Karate classes.

Brought to the United States during the middle 20th century, Okinawan karate differs from its Japanese counterpart and other martial art forms by practicing higher stances and more natural, fluid movements, which are easier on the joints. Here in BCS, classes are taught by Chiyo Spaulding, an AAU National Champion and an experienced martial arts teacher with over 15 years under her third degree black belt. Spaulding is passionate about teaching what she calls “very traditional karate,” and she feels lucky to be involved with the prestigious Sakumoto Karate Academy, the same Okinawan school that produced current karate world champion Ryo Kiyuna. Interesting fact—karate actually began in Okinawa, not Japan!

One difference Spaulding’s classes have from other summer camps around town is that parents are more than welcome to join their children in training! Spaulding strongly believes that every person “should have self confidence and a sense of accomplishment.” Bringing out these qualities in her students through martial arts is her primary goal, so there is an element of mental and emotional growth that comes packaged with the physical training. Indeed, Spaulding stresses, even though karate is often seen as an individual sport, her classes are “very focused on discipline” and “helping each other while training together.”

There are four more chances this summer to seize on this opportunity: from June 3-24, June 5-26, July 8-29, and July 10-31. The cost is $40 per month, and you can register online through the City of College Station website.

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