WESLEY CHAPEL — As the bullying problem continues to grow, it is increasingly important for children and teens to learn how to defend and protect themselves. Students from preschool through high school are taught about defending themselves from bullying behavior and predator activity.
Since the 1990s, martial arts schools have been flourishing across the country. Recently, a second generation of schools have begun to spring up. In addition to teaching the traditional skills of fighting and self-defense, the new schools focus on assessing danger, avoiding confrontation and building confidence and character.
Last Saturday, Pro Martial Arts had its grand opening. Located in the Meadow Pointe Shopping Center, a short distance from Wiregrass Ranch High, the facility is owned and operated by current and former public school teachers.
“In the past, if there was a bully at school or in the neighborhood, you went home and the bully was gone,” co-owner Jennifer Buck said. “Now, because of the Internet and other social media, you never get away from the bully. They can find you by texting, on Facebook, or on Twitter. However, if you learn to carry yourself with confidence, you become less of a target. Martial arts gives you the tools to defend yourself and to help others.”
The certified black belt instructors are trained in the Korean style of martial arts and weeknights and Saturday mornings feature kick boxing/fitness instruction. Kathleen “Kat” Rosaly doubles as the Program Director and Community Outreach.
“I got started in martial arts because my son was being bullied,” said Rosaly, who has a third-degree Black Belt. “In addition to my office responsibilities, I talk at schools and community organizations about bully and predator prevention. We hold seminars and teach the physical and psychological ways to avoid a dangerous situation from escalating. We focus on promoting good habits, self-discipline and character development.”
As an incentive to visit the facility, Pro Martial Arts offers two free lessons and a free uniform. Daily classes are 4-9 p.m. on weekdays and 9-12 a.m. on Saturdays.
For information, visit them on the web at www.promartialarts.com/wesleychapel or call (813) 991-0462.
Correspondent Cliff Gill can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ReporterCliff.