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These cats are fast as lightning
MARYSVILLE Kung fu instructor Carl Doup calls off his students names as he organizes them into two lines to begin practicing kicks.
And the words the students, ranging in age from about 6 to 12, use to answer their teacher would probably surprise a lot of adults.
Yes sir, they respond clearly as he calls them by name.
Doup is gently encouraging toward his students, especially a new one.
Wow, those are some good kicks! he tells Jackson Campbell, who beams at the praise.
The class Doup leads is part of a weeklong kung fu camp offered through the city of Marysvilles Park and Recreation Department at Doups Kung Fu 4 Kids.
What might also come as a surprise to parents and many new kung fu students is that there is much more to the martial art than what is glamorized in Hollywood movies. Its a perception Doup said he tries to teach new students to overcome.
They come in and they think in their first class theyre going to be doing these flying kicks and all these things because were so inundated with these movie images, he said. We have to tell the kids this is something you have to develop.
So while students learn stretching, conditioning, kicking, punching and defense, Doup and his fellow instructors try to include a little philosophy in the curriculum as well.
We spend a lot of time talking to the kids. Not just, Heres how to get away from a bully when he attacks you, but why a bully attacks, how to deal with confrontation, he said.
Those physical techniques dont work if the kids dont have the confidence and understanding. We use those physical lessons to keep kids interested in the mental lessons they need.
But as the students practice from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., theres some downtime too.
Theres usually a movie during the day and the kids will often play games. Whatever they end up doing, the goal is to keep their minds sharp.
The challenge, Doup said, is incorporating the lessons in with the fun.
If I can teach one kid to have a good time working hard, it will stick with them. We have this idea that hard work is work, he said. Hard work can be the reward. Thats what we really try to get through.
Kayla Flynn with the Marysville Parks and Recreation Department said once kids get used to the program, they tend to respond favorably.
The kids really enjoy the camp. Manners and positive behavior is enforced. The Yes maam, no sir, I know thats reinforced at that camp, she said.
Carls wonderful. Hes a positive outgoing person and he loves the community, she added.