- Northwoods Kung Fu instructors see the martial art as a way to build confidence in young kids.
Brian Sturtevant and Karen Marquardt teach at Fu Chen Kung Fu in Rhinelander. Kids learn to punch, breathe, and kick as part of the art of Kung Fu.
"It's a fun style to learn because it is based on five animal styles. There is a lot of freedom to teach them different kinds of movements. It gives them a large sense of confidence," said Sturtevant.
Repetitive motion can get boring for the six to nine-year-olds, so they try to use games to help the kids learn the five basic animals, tiger, panther, crane, snake, and dragon.
"We work on a lot of hand-eye coordination and just playing with the different tasks," said Marquardt.
Instructors feel close contact and personal guidance help the kids.
"It is all about stretching the bounds of the kinds of movements that they might do. That just gives them extra confidence when they are in their daily lives," said Sturtevant
"Their eyes are bright and light up. They just got a big smile. They're happy when they can achieve their goals," said Marquardt.
The skills they learn can also be used in their everyday lives.
"It teaches self-defense when you are in danger on the streets," said student Jackson Hoffhein.
"It's fun and you get to defend yourself," said student Chloe Felde
"It's fun, I like Si Ji, and I get to defend myself," said student Scarlet Mckenzie.
"They get to roll around. They get to try different striking and punching techniques. It all seems very physical and real to them," said Sturtevant.
Kids learn to build confidence and strength while having some fun with Chinese martial arts.
"We just use the physical to help build up the person," said Marquardt.
Fu Chen Kung Fu is located at 919 Mason St, Rhinelander, WI 54501.
|Story By: Jeanine Ilacqua