Martial arts represent more than just fighting technique, according to a local instructor. It’s also a good way to stay in shape.
Keith Jenkins brought his students to Saturday’s Liberty County Community Health Fair at the Shuman Center to demonstrate the Korean form of martial arts he teaches at Jenkins Karate School.
Jenkins, a Hinesville city councilman and sheriff’s deputy, said people should recognize the benefits of martial arts when it comes to overall health and well-being.
“Sometimes people tell me, ‘Keith, I have to get in shape so I can come to your class,’” Jenkins said. “But you shouldn’t try to get in shape so you can get in shape. You just need to jump on it and do it.”
Jenkins said martial arts encompass a variety of things and is a lifestyle and not just a sport.
“Martial arts help the body work correctly,” Jenkins said. “When we train we stretch the muscles and the body so we help extend your flexibility, and it helps the joints. When you look at the moves we do, those moves utilize every part of your body, activating the small-motor-skill muscles as well as the large ones. When you loosen and stretch your muscles they have the ability to grow and get stronger and more developed.”
Jenkins said his school teaches a form of Korean martial arts that combines taekwondo, aikido and several other martial arts techniques.
On Saturday, Jenkins’ students, which include his son, Keith Jenkins Jr., took the main stage to demonstrate the different kicks and positions. Each movement was fluid and graceful, yet powerful and explosive.
Jenkins said folks trying martial arts or any new form of exercise or workout routine might run into adversity at first.
“Of course, you can expect to feel a little sore at first,” he said, adding it’s a good thing. “Your muscles and your body aren’t used to the movements and being activated at first. But that means you are waking the body up and you are waking your muscles up.”
Jenkins said practicing martial arts includes feeding the body whole and nutritious foods that aide in muscle development and overall physical improvement.
“We encourage our students to follow a healthy path that includes eating the right types of food,” he said. “We also encourage the parents to try and choose healthier foods for their kids. It stimulates the muscles and it stimulates the brain and sends the nutrients that are needed to the muscles for growth and recovery.”
His school is open to participants ages 3 and older. For more information, call 876-8511.