Boxing, backflips, and nun-chucks are high in the air at Joey Perry’s Martial Arts Academy in Jonesboro this week. Over a dozen kids are using their spring break to train in a special self-defense camp.
“We get to learn new tricks. And strikes,” says Cameron Scott, who’s attending the self-defense camp.
“It helps me to focus and show respect,” says Kimberly Floyd, who is also enrolled in the camp.
Obstacle courses, trampolines and more help improve hand-eye coordination. And the bond with other students. Zavier Roberts is a camp instructor, that says the activities provide youngsters mental tools to apply in school and everyday life.
“It helps with their leadership and being ready,” says Roberts, “so they can pay attention to the teacher, and lead groups, and lead others.”
An important part of that leadership is teaching kids how to handle bullying. And unexpected threats.
Regan Fair adds that “my friends like me….because they know if anything happens, i’ll be there,” because of the camp.
Master instructor Joey Perry calls the camp is a big motivation.
“We have more time to discuss with them, not only their goal setting, and whatever their physical options are, but when it comes to bullying…the mental aspect,” explains Perry. “And how to verbally protect themselves and defend themselves. The skills that they’re learning between verbal. Physical and mental, are gonna stick with them for a lifetime.”
Perry adds that since it’s so important to learn the skills taught in the camp, that he provides a free self-defense class, every three months for the entire community to learn escape techniques, situational awareness, and how to master self-defense on the ground.
More information about camps and classes can be found on joeyperrysma.com.