Resource center offering free Martial Arts classes for local youth

In the photo, from left to right, front row, Trace Haynes, Gabe Haynes, Ben Hansford, Lyam Meenach, Ira Conarroe; back row, Jolene Gorman, Dow Tippett, Zack Snyder, Devon Hardy

Submitted Photo

With the assistance of a grant awarded to the Clinton County Resource Center, local youth and their families will have the opportunity to participate in mixed martial arts at no cost.

The purpose of these activities is to expose and engage youth to try new skills while also serving as a family strengthening activity, according to a press release from CCRC.

Local instructor Dow Tippett will lead the classes.

“I am so excited about this class,” Tippett said. “I love helping kids become their best selves.”

The mixed martial arts class has more than 15 people currently participating, from ages 8 to 45. Staff from the Clinton County Juvenile Court Services and the Clinton County Resource Center participate alongside youth and their families.

The training focuses on individual growth, not on team competition, while working toward specific goals, the release stated. Martial Arts promote learning by repetition. Kids learn gradually, repeating and adding steps as they go, learning to anticipate which step comes next. Successful mastery of movements require focus and self-control.

From an exercise point of view, a side benefit of Martial Arts is the ability to release extra energy without actual fighting. Kicking and chopping movements let kids work out frustration or anger in a controlled manner. Because respect is a core value in Martial Arts, kids have to show it for their instructor and for their peers. Negativity is not tolerated in class, and students are encouraged to support each other.

Awarded by the Ohio Department of Youth Services, the Competitive RECLAIM Grant is designed to divert appropriate youth from further involvement with the juvenile justice system and reduce the need for costly state- and county-supported residential services.

The costs associated with pro-social activities such as art club, Martial Arts, equine assisted learning, and 4H are covered by the grant as a way to enhance community activity and youth involvement in developing skills and interests for a lifetime.

Andrew Conarroe, programming director for CCRC, said “We want youth to feel supported and see members of their community engaged in the same positive activities they are. Being able to offer these activities to youth and the outside community is the ultimate package deal.”

For more information on the Clinton County Resource Center and program offerings, call 937-383-4114 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 daily.

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