MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) — A martial arts program in Milwaukee is working with inner-city kids at a young age in hopes of instilling values and tradition.
Martial arts are the practice of discipline, self-control, and building confidence.
“For a majority of the kids in these communities around the areas that I grew up…We need these classes specifically,” J.K. Lee City Youth Martial Arts Program Coordinator, Dale Lafford said.
The studio is located within the Harambe neighborhood in Milwaukee and it’s a program that is free to all. It works with kids like Davian Nelson, who loves the sport.
“I wouldn’t have any other instructors than my instructors now,” Green Belt, Davian Nelson said.
The classes are giving him a sense of purpose and hope.
“Before Tae Kwon Do I used to get bullied… Now I don’t anymore,” Nelson said.
His teachers are teaching him skills like confidence, respect, and perseverance.
“Sometimes things can be hard but you. Need to keep trying to achieve the goals that you want to achieve,” Nelson said.
It’s an improvement for his instructor, Mr. Lafford sees each day.
“He is one of the biggest components of change I have seen over time. This kid his biggest issue was his self-confidence,” Lafford said.
To these kids this class is more than about what color belt they are wearing, it’s about the skills and life lessons that they take home with them.
“We instill character building in these kids. We give them something to look forward to and something to be responsible for,” Lafford said.
So through each kick, punch, and chop these kids are perfecting their martial arts skills but also building a foundation of greatness and self-awareness that they found on the mat with their friends.
For more information how you or your child can get involved with this program click HERE.