Did you see "The Karate Kid" movie?
Whether it was the 1984 original or last year's remake, it is the same story about how a self-conscious child comes out of his shell after learning karate.
If you have a child who is quiet and shy, you might want to look into martial arts classes as well.
A few months ago, a new American Taekwondo Association school opened in this part of Cabarrus County, in the Coddle Creek Shopping Center.
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"ATA is the biggest martial arts organization worldwide, with over 1,800 schools all around (the U.S.), and there are a total of 14 locations between the areas of Lake Norman, Concord, University (City) and south Charlotte," said Daniel Regueiro, owner of the new school and an ATA-certified instructor.
Originally from Uruguay, Regueiro has been practicing martial arts for 21 years. He is a fifth-degree black belt in taekwondo, a Korean martial arts system much like karate.
"The reason why I decided to open karate schools is because I know what we teach is life-changing for kids, teenagers and adults. Our programs are family-oriented, and we focus on teaching safety, fitness and life skills," Regueiro said.
"I'm committed to help kids and adults to reach their goals. At our schools, our biggest goal is to help our students to become leaders in life."
Regueiro said martial arts are less about kicking and punching and more about developing stronger bodies and sharper minds.
"We pride ourselves in being a black-belt school, where students train and work to become the best they can be, not just in our school, but in life," he said. "It is our goal to share this philosophy with as many members of our community as possible.
"We teach kids from 4 years old to adults. ... Programs ... can be adapted to different needs and ages," Regueiro said.
Martial arts classes teach both children and adults valuable skills that can be used in all areas of life, he said.
"We recognize our junior students for listening, paying attention and following directions, not only at our karate schools but also at home and at school.
"We make great teamwork with parents and school teachers, and a lot of times we are invited to schools to do motivational talking to students," he said. "We do show-and-tells where, through martial arts, we teach discipline and respect, stranger danger seminars and bully prevention seminars. That's our way to help in our community."
All those seminars are taught at the schools for free by certified instructors.
ATA is also in a partnership with Amber Alert.
For more information, call the school at 704-896-1711 or go to www.atalakenorman.com.