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      Kicking it karate style

      Martial Arts instructor Tay Sonethongkhan is the newest member to the Quincy Park District team.

      Martial Arts instructor Tay Sonethongkhan is the newest member to the Quincy Park District team. He'll be teaching the karate classes this fall through the Shoshinkan Martial Arts club located inside the Emmerson Community Center.

      "We're going to offer classes for our youth from ages seven through 13 and the basic stuff like would be like the karate, the kick, the punch, the strike and self defense," Sonethongkhan said.

      "Well we've had this type of thing before," Jessica Cate, from the Quincy Park District, said. "We has Tae Kwon Do, but it was something that as we move into the new rec space in the spring that we were wanting to do something new. "Well Shoshinkan had been in our building for about 10 years so it was a good fit."

      Karate is not your average team sport, but it has a lot to offer.

      "What they learn from here, they can apply to their life," Sonethongkhan said. "The most important thing is to teach them how to respect. To respect their teachers, their peers, themselves and discipline, to make sure they're focused and motivated."

      "It's definitely important for self defense and there's a lot of respect added into it but there's also kids that maybe don't like traditional sports or want to add to their traditional sports so it's a good thing for that, too," Cate said.

      But if you think the Quincy Park District classes are just for kids, you're wrong.

      "We offer it for adults as well so any age group can come out and start at the beginning or if you worked somewhere else you can come here as well," Cate said.

      Who isn't looking for ways to keep you and and your kids active?

      "That is one of the benefits of bringing you and your whole family out here, is you get off the couch for one thing," Sonethongkhan said. "For most adults we don't have time for ourselves to exercise so this is a good family activity, there's moms, fathers, daughters, sons just a good family activity."

      Tay will surely keep in you in shape.

      There is an informational meeting about the new karate program. It will be held August 20th at the Emerson Community Center at 6 p.m., or click here.