Community Programs Karate Testimonials


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Interview Q & A

 

Jo Pledge 

Name: Jo Pledge
Occupation: Owns a company that cleans and repairs ceilings of restaurants, and volunteer karate instructor
How long has the Karate program been around for?
In February, it will be 5 years
What is your favorite thing to see with the kids that come? What makes you the happiest/proudest and what are the moments that make it worth it?
What I like seeing is when they are developing their confidence, they’re feeling more secure about themselves, and they’re willing to take on new challenges. And of course I like seeing them do good karate but that’s a side benefit
How long have you been practicing karate?
Since 1981, so 37 years
What belt are you?
Black belt nidan (2nd degree black belt)
What made you decide to be one of the leaders for this program?
I have been training for ages my husband and I are officials for tournaments. We were international officials and were teaching at the main dojo in Fountain Valley. They had some scheduling conflicts and I said, “how about if we see about teaching about 7 minutes away from home instead of 45?” So I called up the center here and the professionalism and kindness in the conversation won me over. I asked them “would you be interested in a karate program?” and they said yes, and I asked “oh do you have a room big enough?” and they said “yes! Do you want to come and see it?”
So how did the relationship between you and the El Modena FRC & CAPOC happen?
Ironically, way back when before CAPOC was even called CAPOC, I worked for the Community Development Program and I was in charge of the health program in the Food Bank. I worked there and then moved on to other jobs, and then years later, I obviously knew about the center because I had been here and had worked with the people here when I was in other jobs and I knew that it was in a good location and well connected with the community
How does enrollment work?
Twice a year, with the exception of summer, we have a 6 week beginner class. We actually have the students teach the class, with our supervision. This helps them with their leadership skills and become more confident in what they’re doing. We’ve been doing it for 3 years now and it’s working out quite well. When the students are teaching, we can see them making self-corrections, helping them in their own learning process as well.
Are you proud?
Yes, we are very proud. A number of the students have gone on to bigger accomplishments, inside and outside of karate. One student was so shy when she started here, and now she has a 4 year scholarship at UCSB. We had another student who went into Explorer’s Program and she’s looking to be either a Marine or a Police Officer. A number of our students have taken on projects that expand their horizons. We take our students to tournaments in various parts of Southern California, and they’re getting to see different parts of the community.


 

Alex H
Name: Alex H.
Age, Grade: 13, 8th
How did you hear about the Karate Club?
It was from one of my cousins, he goes here (El Modena FRC), then his mom told my mom and then my mom asked me if I wanted to join so I joined.
How long have you been coming to the Karate Club?
Around 2-3 years
Why did you decide to join Karate Club?
I wasn’t doing anything at the time, and I was just bored at home over the summer.
What are your favorite things about Karate Club?
They teach us how to defend ourselves and the friendships I’ve created.
How would you explain the Karate Club Program to someone who has never heard of it before?
A great experience


Pedro

Name: Pedro
Age, Grade: 11, 5th
Belt: Purple
How did you hear about the Karate Club?
My mom found out about it from the EMFRC and told me about it so I decided to join
How long have you been coming to the Karate Club?
I don’t know, for about 2 years?
Why did you decide to join Karate Club?
I didn’t know what to do at home and I get bored easily. Karate Club helps keep me busy
What are your favorite things about Karate Club?
We get to spar and do self-defense, but sparring is my favorite. I’ve gotten to do the Karate tournament and that was a lot of fun
How has Karate Club helped you in your everyday life?
It has helped me stay focused on my homework and I notice I’m stronger now
How would you explain the Karate Club Program to someone who has never heard of it before?
Fun


Abraham K

Name: Abraham K.
Age, Grade: 12, 7th
Belt: Yellow Stripe
How did you hear about the Karate Club?
One day when I came to school my dad told me, “I signed you up for Karate” so I was like okay, because I was previously in Karate, but a different program though.
How long have you been coming to the Karate Club?
About a year
Why did you decide to join Karate Club?
I’ve been wanting to do Karate again so when I found out my dad signed up me, I was like “yay!”
What are your favorite things about Karate Club?
Kumite, which is hand-to-hand combat
How has Karate Club helped you in your everyday life?
I think it’s helped me a little bit in school
How would you explain the Karate Club Program to someone who has never heard of it before?
A fun program that can help someone at Karate and self-defense


Arlene G

Name: Arlene G.
Age, Grade: 10, 5th
Belt: Yellow
How did you hear about the Karate Club?
My friend used to come to Karate, so I started coming too and I really liked it
How long have you been coming to the Karate Club?
Almost a year
Why did you decide to join Karate Club?
I like it because it felt like I was playing and I got to hang out with my friends
What are your favorite things about Karate Club?
We get to trip people and that’s my favorite part
How has Karate Club helped you in your everyday life?
Yeah, like if someone were to try to kick me, I know how to block
How would you explain the Karate Club Program to someone who has never heard of it before?
You get to kick, punch, and trip people. It’s a lot of fun


Jennifer R 

Name: Jennifer R.
Age, Grade: 9, 3rd
Belt: Yellow
How did you hear about the Karate Club?
My mom told me about it and then I wanted to go
How long have you been coming to the Karate Club?
I’m not sure, a long time
Why did you decide to join Karate Club?
I wanted to learn how to defend myself
What are your favorite things about Karate Club?
We get to do splits and learn how to punch, and playing games
How has Karate Club helped you in your everyday life?
It helped me because this boy was trying to hit me and I was able to defend myself


Brenda H

Name: Brenda H.
Age, Grade: 12, 7th
Belt: Purple
How did you hear about the Karate Club?
My mom just ended up enrolling me and told me one day “you’re gonna do karate”
How long have you been coming to the Karate Club?
Four Years
Why did you decide to join Karate Club?
I was a little reluctant at first, but it ended up being a lot of fun. I wanted to keep going to see what would happen
What are your favorite things about Karate Club?
I like doing kumite and sparring. It helps me get better and stronger and more confident
How has Karate Club helped you in your everyday life?
If someone is trying to make fun of me, or fight me, it would help me defend myself


Enfriique T

Name: Enrique T.
Age, Grade: 16, 11th
Belt: Blue
How did you hear about the Karate Club?
My mom had heard about it from people calling her, and then they asked if I wanted to join karate
How long have you been coming to the Karate Club?
5 years
Why did you decide to join Karate Club?
I love this program so much because it’s my favorite activity to do. I like to stay active so it’s a good fit for me
What are your favorite things about Karate Club?
I like helping people, especially the younger students, and I like getting to try new things
How has Karate Club helped you in your everyday life?
Yes, it helps me be more comfortable at school and I’m able to concentrate better in math and science


Saul T

Name: Saul T.
Age, Grade: 12, 7th
Belt: Blue
How did you hear about the Karate Club?
4 Years
How long have you been coming to the Karate Club?
My mom heard about it first and then she told me and I started when I was in 3rd grade
Why did you decide to join Karate Club?
Because I wanted to learn something new
What are your favorite things about Karate Club?
I like fighting, sparring, and going to the tournaments, those are a lot of fun
How has Karate Club helped you in your everyday life?
Yes, like when karate is over, we take out our homework and help each other
How would you explain the Karate Club Program to someone who has never heard of it before?
It’s a great place to learn new things and make new friends


 


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