Teens are learning karate and conflict resolution in high school, and it isn’t just about punching and kicking.
“Everyone’s mind goes to punching and kicking,” said 17-year-old Linda Vu. “They want to know: Do we fight? We do the moves, but we don’t fight each other.”
It may not be so well known, but traditional karate is a non-contact sport. The training is focused on controlled movements, which include punches, kicks, blocks and other martial arts moves, but stops less than an inch from the opponent’s skin.
Karate is a part of self defense, but the purpose is more attuned to holistic tuning of mind, body, and spirit. The traditional club was started at Stuart High School by music teacher Cassandra Haynes and national champion Soolmaz Abooali with the goal of offering traditional karate to students, to promote personal empowerment rather than violence.