By Emily Kostelnik
“Hiiiiyah!” Is something you will most definitely hear when you walk into a Martial Arts Studio. Martial Arts is something that takes discipline, and self-control. A crucial part of Martial Arts is to learn to defend yourself if you get into an unwanted situation, but also to have fun while learning. Here at AKF Martial Arts Studio in Brannon Crossing, Master Moniot (the head instructor) teaches his students how to defend themselves, and spends some time teaching them important values to get them through life.
As I talked to students around STEAM Academy, it seemed that not very many people actually knew what Martial Arts is all about. One student said, “You will be doing different kinds of moves to learn self-defense…I think everyone should learn it.” when asked if she knew a lot about it, or nothing at all she said, “…not really.” I then asked another student, who said, “I think it takes a lot of time to learn… I think it looks really cool to do…I don’t really know a lot about Martial Arts.” After hearing what several people had to say on the matter, everyone thought it was something that was really cool, so I decided to take a trip down to AKF Martial Arts, a Martial Arts school that focuses on Kyuki Do (Kyuki-do is a Korean Martial Art form that focuses on Self Defense. It was created by Grand Master Ok Hyung Kim), and receive more information from the Head Instructor, Master Moniot.
As I was speaking with him, I asked him what Martial Arts is all about, and he replied, “Martial Arts is all about thinking, not fighting. Having the confidence in yourself and pride in yourself.” When asked what else students learn in classes, he simply said, “Life Skills.” As I observed his basic class (White belt to Yellow Belt) at the end, Master Moniot took time to have his students sit down with him and explain the word “Excellence” and several different ways to achieve it in your own way.
He also went on to say “You are not just training to become a black belt, you are also training to become a better person.” “That’s what Martial Arts is all about.” If you find that you have fallen in love Martial Arts, the school offers a Leadership program. In the Leadership Program, you get an extra 15 minutes where you learn something you wouldn’t learn in the normal basic classes, Weapons. Every month, a different weapon is taught to the students. They learn how to properly use weapons if in a fight. This month, the students were learning how to spar with one another, with punching and kicking. They also get to learn to use nunchucks, bo staffs (a long wooden stick, usually taller than the person using it, used for combat purposes) and kali sticks (two short wooden sticks used simultaneously, used for combat purposes).
On top of teaching students Martial Arts, Master Moniot, and his staff host all sorts of fun events throughout the year. Once a month they host a Parents Night Out, where all of his students under the age of 12 get to participate in fun activities, such as building legos, arts, and crafts, video game trucks, bouncy houses, watching movies, and getting eat and drink pizza and lemonade. The kids enjoy this time a lot, and the parents appreciate it as they get a few hours to be childfree to go and have fun. On top of that, they host events such as seminars, that give the students extra time to learn things that they would not usually learn in class, such as the Sword Seminar back in December. Finally, once a year they host a Winter Wonderland Sale where all the items that they sell, like bo staffs, nunchucks, uniforms, and the official Kyuki do book.
So, if this has peaked your interest in any way, I suggest to you, in the words of Master Moniot, “Try it!” Because you might find something that you will fall in love with as he did. You will make new friends, and learn skills that will most definitely help you get through all the struggles that life is bound to throw at you.