April 22, 2004 – The St. Croix Martial Arts Center in Peters Rest is hosting an open tournament on Sunday beginning at 9:59 a.m. Youngsters from the age of 3 through their teens will be displaying their knowledge of Taekwondo.
Taekwondo is an ancient martial art form from Korea that is characterized by fast, high spinning kicks. And if you don't know what nunchakus, bo staff, sai, or kama are, there will be exhibitions on the use of these deadly oriental weapons.
The tournament, which is open to the public without charge, will include exhibitions in forms, weapons and sparring. The event is expected to conclude around 3 p.m. with the presentation of awards to the best competitors in each category.
Martial Arts Center owner Evworth Charles, a sixth degree black belt in Taekwondo, has been teaching martial arts for 28 years, and this is the 20th year for the tournament. He currently has 60 students ages 3-16 and another 20 in his adult class.
Charles also teaches kickboxing and conducts weekly exercise classes and self-defense classes for women. Each summer, the center hosts a camp for youngsters from the age of 4, offering not only martial arts but also arts, crafts and tutoring in reading and math.
"My joy is teaching kids," he says. "I teach discipline; it has kept my students on a straight path."
Charles says he has trained thousands of youngsters and that he takes great satisfaction in seeing his former students become responsible adults. "My students grow up and become doctors and lawyers," he said. "It's emotional when they come to me and thank me for turning their life around."
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