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Tykes taking taekwondo

This is serious business.

Standing behind instructor Myers Hawkins, three youngsters mimic to the best of their abilities every block, kick, thrust and punch Hawkins shows them.

The look on their faces is cold determination.

While the two adults in the class at Grist YMCA do a better job of keeping up with Hawkins, the little guys are not about to be left behind.

“Hunter’s really enjoying this,” Allison Harper says while her young son finishes his drill with a quick bow. “He’s the kind that doesn’t stick to much, but he’s really sticking with this.”

Hawkin’s taekwondo program began at the YMCA at the end of June. Membership was slow at the start, but is picking up steam.

“We’ve picked up a few folks,” Hawkins said. “We’ll be all right.”

The classes meet twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, at Grist YMCA.

The class starts at 6:15 p.m. and lasts an hour.

Right now Myers has only white belts, the lowest level, in class. But the class is set up for the three lowest level of belts.

“We work on basic kicks, basic blocks, just basic strikes,” Hawkins said. “They’ll work on form. They’re green. We call them seed. They’re pure, no knowledge. We look at it as a seed growing into a tree.”

Myers maturation from seed to tree has been a fast one.

He began two and a half years ago after watching his son take up the sport.

“I got started by my son,” he said. “My

son became a black belt recommended then decided to give it a break.

I wanted some exercise and I started to like it.”

Myers is now a black belt recommended himself.

He teaches kids and adults alike who want to follow in his footsteps.

“It’s never too late, even if it ain’t for nothing but exercise. Most of the old people like the exercise, ” Hawkins said. “It’s good exercise, it’s good for stretching. It’s for any age.”

The class costs $45 for non-YMCA members, $30 for members and $20 for Plus Members.

For more information, contact Allyson Dansby at 874-7476.