The Cassville YMCA is now offering youth introductory martial arts and women's self defense classes. Classes are held at the YMCA facility on Highway 248 in Cassville each Monday evening.
"The mission of the YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all," said Dove Haney, facility manager. "Our martial arts program at the YMCA, led by Earnest Freeman, complements our mission as the program stresses self-discipline, self-control and self-respect. There are also many health benefits."
Earlier this year, the Cassville YMCA began to search for a program that would engage boys and complement the YMCA's gymnastics and tumbling programs, which appeal to girls.
"Martial arts are not just for boys, but the program primarily appeals to boys and young men," said Haney. "Mr. Freeman approached us a while back about possibly offering a class at the YMCA, and we saw this as a great opportunity."
The youth martial arts program is open to children who are between the ages of five and 18. Classes teach youngsters striking skills from Tae Kwan Do, boxing and kickboxing and grappling techniques of wrestling, Judo and Jujitsu.
After completing the introductory program at the YMCA, students will have the opportunity to test for their first belt level in the Rosenbach Warrior Training Branches (RWTB) system. Students can also choose to transfer to the martial arts center in Cassville for more advanced classes.
Cassville YMCA martial arts classes are conducted by Freeman, who serves as head instructor, and assistant instructors Trey Tredwell and Bobi Jo Dick.
"This is the first time martial arts have been offered at the Cassville YMCA, however the RTWB program has been offered at the YMCA in Freemont, Neb., for over 20 years," said Haney.
The Cassville YMCA's youth martial arts classes are offered from 6 to 7 p.m. each Monday. Women's self-defense classes, which are open to women and teens girls who are 14 years of age or older, are offered from 7 to 8 p.m. each Monday.
For more information, call the Cassville YMCA at 846-1535.