by Stephen Dafoe
The Morinville Community Cultural Centre will play home to Phoenix Taekwon-do classes Oct. 6. The program will be offered Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. for ages 7 to adult. A Shadow Warrior class for ages 4 to 7 will take place on Mondays at 5:45.
Taekwon-do instructor and Phoenix Taekwon-do owner Craig Stanley said a number of Morinville residents taking classes from his company in St. Albert asked if classes could be offered in town. “We found a couple instructors who had the time and the ability and we said, ‘OK, let’s do this,” Stanley said, adding Morinville will be Phoenix’s eighth location serving more than 800 students. David Wandler, a second-degree black belt, and Tim Abel, a first-degree black belt, will teach the classes in Morinville.
The idea behind the program is to teach the Korean martial art to individuals and families. “The way we run our clubs is we allow any age to go into the beginner class together,” Stanley said. “What that really does is it gets a lot of families working together. Taekwon-do is one of the few activities that a dad or a mom can do with their kids and they are all on the same page. When you play baseball, you can’t have a six- or eight-year-old play baseball with an adult. When you do taekwon-do they are working together but as individuals. They’re not competing together. They are working together.”
Taekwon-do has its roots in karate. The martial art was developed in Korea by a second-degree black belt in karate. Stanley said the sport is a dynamic one that is easy to learn. Fitness levels develop as one advances through the belt levels. “It’s just a really fun activity to get involved with,” he said. “It’s a fun activity for entire families to be able to do something together.” Central to the program is the development of courtesy, respect and confidence. “You have those peripheral things, which I and other instructors believe are more important than the physical things that we do,” Stanley said. “But the physical things that we do are what the day-to-day classes involve. You are learning so much more than physical punching and kicking.”
The cost of the program is $99 for the first two months, $85 per month thereafter for the first family member. The second family member is $45, per month, $25 per month for the third, and $15 for a fourth. Family members beyond the fourth member are free. The Shadow Warrior program is $45 for the first member and drops with each additional family member.
Membership in the Morinville club gives taekwon-do students access to any of Phoenix’ other clubs, including St. Albert. Members are allowed to train at the other clubs on additional nights at no additional cost.
For more information call Craig Stanley at 780-951-1697.