By Hillary Twiford, staff writer
After school, many students participate in activities that no one knows about. For example, sophomores Renee Allen and Mykenzie Connally have been taking taekwondo lessons since October. They attend classes at Humes Martial Arts in Waterford two to three times a week to receive instruction from David Humes.
Their lessons focus on four different areas: sparring, self-defense, traditional movement patterns known as katas, and kata with weapons like bo staff and nunchucks. However, classes in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and karadio, a mixture of karate and high intensity cardio combinations, are also available.
Allen’s favorite part of class is sparring, a match where you fight an opponent having little to no contact, whereas Connally prefers self-defense and katas because she feels like she has more control.
“I’ve been wanting to do taekwondo for awhile. I wanted to do something with fighting,” said Connally. “It seemed really cool, so Renee and I signed up to do it last minute.”
Allen cites the reason for getting into taekwondo is because of her mother. “My mom was nagging me to do a self defense class so I said ‘hey why not?’”
They are currently yellow belts, but plan on surpassing orange belts and earning their blue belts in May before competing in the Champion of the Sword tournament on May 20 at Northwestern. “I’m excited for it, and we’re training really hard,” Connally said.