Getting your kicks

Children and adults can march out to a brand new, freshly-painted tae kwon do facility, right at the edge of Bremerton’s city limits.

Starting Monday, Ken Aduddell is moving his Silverdale based Studio Kicks Training Center into a 4,300-square foot spacious building.

The martial-arts program will include two main practice halls, as well as a lounge area with coffee for parents and a store for tae kwon do supplies — the only such retail store between here and Tacoma.

He said unlike sports such as soccer or basketball, his tae kwon do team members are judged on more aspects in their life than how hard they can kick or how high they can jump.

“We are changing lives here,” Aduddel said.

He teaches his students how to manage their time, how to treat others with respect and the importance of trying hard in all aspects of life.

“The requirements are so hard,” he said. “We require a 3.5-grade point average to reach brown belt. We require students to do community service work. We require a sense of not only how hard you can punch but what you can do for the world.”

Martial arts members make better role models because they are required to achieve more outside the mat, he said.

“In martial arts the day you walk in, (that’s) the day you are on the team,” he said. “We say, ‘Let’s not focus on what they can’t do or what they are labeled. We say, ‘Let’s see what they can do.’ ”

His programs focus on creating a supportive environment. There are 179 current members in the Silverdale Super Kicks facility, but moving to such a large location in Bremerton will allow Aduddell more classes and team-training options.

“I’ve been doing this since I was seven,” said 18-year-old Kat Haggard. “I like the physical challenge. Once you do this and you out there in the real world and people challenge you, its no big deal. You can do it. You gain focus. You are always, always working harder.”

She is on the Washington State American Athletic Union tae kwon do team which is headed to the national tournament July 5-9. Haggard and most of her school mates qualified in every event they signed up for.

Unlike most tae kwon do schools, Studio Kicks has teams in both the Sport Karate Circuit and World tae kwon do Circuits.

In tae kwon do, head punching is not aloud, but head kicking is aloud. Kids competing in ages 5-10 are not allowed to fight as aggressively as black belts.

Tae kwon do is a martial art characterized by its fast, high and spinning kicks.

It can be highly aggressive and is full contact.

In the new studio, Aduddell is putting in the same matting as they use in Olympics.

Aduddell still is reminded every once in a while that many people’s perceptions of martial arts is based on the movie “The Karate Kid.”

People will come to the door asking if you can learn how to fight. Aduddell said he has to remind them that martial arts typically are self-defense-based tactics, not fighting skills.

Life lessons, not sparring tools.

“It helps you to learn not to sweat the small stuff,” Haggard said.

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