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Kids do a lot of things after school. Many go to one kind of day care or another until their parents come home from work. There are four kids who get picked up after school and join friends for play, homework, snacks and training. They are picked and spend their time at Upper Marlboro Marital Arts and Wellness Center. I know what you’re thinking, “This is a babysitting service that keeps the kids busy with some martial arts type activity.” That may be the impression most people have but that’s not what these kids are getting at Upper Marlboro Martial Arts.
They are getting real training, but not military drill sergeant training. They are being taught honest-to-God martial arts by an award winning master. Master John Baylor has been awarded many trophies and plaques in competition over his many years in the art. He knows the art and he knows how to teach it. He is supported in training these young people by Mr. Rashaud Perkins, one of the finest young instructors I have seen in a long time. Together they teach using patience and mutual respect.
There was a martial arts tournament recently and our four after school care kids entered the competition.
Donovan Smith entered and took second place in the forms green belt competition.
Markiel Small entered and took second place in sparring and third place in forms green belt competition.
Jorrel Swann entered and took the first place trophy in forms and third place in sparring.
Our young lady, Olivia Roberts, came home with the trophy in purple belt sparring.
From left to right we have Donovan, Olivia, Jorrel, and Markiel
This was a great accomplishment for these kids and one we are proud of and I’m it is one that they are proud of. Clearly they were doing more than playing at martial arts. People do get the wrong impression about the after school care at martial arts studios. Kids do really learn martial arts, if they have good teachers. These kids worked hard and listened to their instructors and their work paid off.
Everyone who has seen any version of the “Karate Kid” knows about sparring in competition. The opponents maneuver to score points with punches and kicks. The forms competition requires the participants to show precise skill in the execution of their forms. A form is a choreographed set of stances, punches and kicks that simulate a martial artist defending him or herself from multiple invisible attackers from multiple direction. The judges watch for proper stances on each move, snap in the punches and kicks, the pace of the performance. You can’t walk through a form and expect to get a trophy. It takes work to get it right and these kids did it.
To recap, Upper Marlboro Martial Arts kids took first, second and third in the green belt forms competition and second in third in the green belt sparring competition. They also won the trophy in the purple belt sparring competition, not bad for four kids in after school care. These kids have experience the thrill of accomplishment and the joy of proven their skill in public. It is something that will be with them always.
This is Mr. Rashaud Perkins. I think you would agree that he knows at bit about martial arts.
Upper Marlboro Martial Arts Center is a small school with quality instruction. Master John Baylor is considering organizing a summer camp this year. He just needs some encouragement. If you are interest in a summer camp or for after school care this year or next, contact the center by phone at 301-574-4515. Upper Martial Arts Center is located at 6417 S. Crain Hwy., Upper Marlboro, MD 20772. Please visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UpperMarlboroMartialArtsWellnessCenter