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December 5, 2012

Karate offered at Boys & Girls Club of Troy

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

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Blanca Sailor, 7, kicks up her heel during a martial arts demonstration at the Boys & Girls Club of Troy Dec. 3. She is a student of Kevin Taylor, who holds a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

In an effort to make it easier for kids of working parents to try activities they may not normally be able to squeeze into busy schedules, the Boys & Girls Club of Troy will offer martial arts instruction on site.

“You never know what a child will be interested in,” said Jeff Evans, executive director for the Boys & Girls Club of Troy.

To that end, martial arts instructor Kevin Taylor, who’s broken Guinness World Records for breaking 20 car-door windows in one minute and 35 seconds, and 10 demijohns (a type of glass wine bottle) in one minute, will bring his style of martial arts to the center.

“I’m a big guy, and that has a lot to do with it,” he said of his skills. “But you also have to hit with speed, and concentrate.”

Taylor packs 285 pounds into his 6-foot frame. He’s currently looking to break a world record busting beer cans. He’s appeared on the TV show “America’s Got Talent,” where he tried to break 100 flaming bricks in 11 seconds. He accomplished this later in Italy. 

Taylor is a certified instructor of Tang Soo Do, a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and founded the World Speed Brick Breaking Association, in which he is a 10th-degree black belt.

“You don’t stand in one spot, but go forward and backward,” Taylor said of the “high tempo” form of Tang Soo Do he teaches. This style is beneficial for both adults and children and aids in steadying balance, he explained.

Taylor also operates Community Fitness Martial Arts in Madison Heights and Roseville.

The martial art helps kids with self-esteem and to control their power, and ultimately, walk away from a fight, he said. “They know they can walk away because they have the ability,” he said.

His instruction includes ground escapes, chokehold defenses, weapon instruction, line drills and speed brick breaking.

Speed brick breaking may be performed by all ranks of martial artists, is done with stacks of 1- to 5-inch thick cement slabs and is timed. Speed brick breaking can be done individually or in teams by children as young as 7, Taylor said.

“You don’t know what you can do until you try,” he said.

The martial instructions will be two-hour sessions, twice a week.

Yoga classes are now offered on site, as well. “We are increasing our menu,” Evans said.

Evans said there would be a number of new things offered at the Boys & Girls Club of Troy, including Taylor’s martial arts classes, which are slated to start in January. For information about upcoming programs and costs, call (248) 689-1687 or check online at www.bgctroy.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.