Kick it with the entire family

New taekwondo class offered in Eagle River


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Chris West does jumping jacks with his beginner taekwondo class Monday, March 11 at the Mac. He opened West Tae Kwon Do three months ago in Eagle River.

MIKE NESPER

Looking for an activity the entire family can participate in?

Chris West has the answer — taekwondo.

West started his own business, West Tae Kwon Do, in January and holds classes Monday and Thursday evenings at the McDonald Center in Eagle River.

One of West’s favorite aspects of the sport is that parents and children can take class together.

“It can be a family sport,” he said. “They can talk about the whole experience of class together.

“We really try to stress that,” West said.

West has 30 students, mostly beginners, but hopes to have a full-time advanced class within six months.

The beginners class runs from 6 to 7 p.m. and the advanced from 7 to 7:30 p.m. As the business expands, West said he’ll search for a permanent location.

When West retired from the U.S. Air Force in September after 15 years of service, it gave him an opportunity to pursue a longtime dream.

“I’ve always wanted to do a school,” he said.

West, 38, has been involved with taekwondo for 25 years and has been teaching since 1993.

“I’ve been doing it quite a while,” he said.

The sport has been a passion of West’s since he started as a young teen.

“I’ve always loved doing it,” he said. “It was an individual sport. I did it on my own.”

A third-degree black belt, West said he’s now focused on passing taekwondo’s teachings onto youths. West said he stresses the five tenets of taekwondo — courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and an indomitable spirit.

“We try to instill that in the kids,” he said.

For West, there’s nothing better than watching his students progress throughout the year.

To encourage entire families to participate, West offers family discounts. For more information about classes or to contact West, visit www.westtkd.com.

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com.

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