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Jade Mountain Martial Arts Combines An Ancient Practice with a Modern Approach

By S. Mathur

Jade Mountain Martial Arts (JMMA) has a welcoming and family-oriented atmosphere, which makes it less intimidating for newcomers and children to enter the world of martial arts. Sifu Whit McClendon explains exactly what his facility brings to the community.

"Ancient Arts with a Modern Approach means that we blend the beauty and tradition of the ancient art of Kung Fu and Tai Chi with exciting and modern training methods in a supportive atmosphere. In addition, we teach more modern techniques of self-defense that are effective and easy to learn, as well as the arts of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo."

The school prides itself on maintaining a challenging and supportive atmosphere for students. Everyone gets individual attention from the teachers and progresses at their own pace. It usually takes about three years to earn a Black Belt at Jade Mountain Martial Arts. Kung Fu is different from Tae Kwon Do and Karate because it has a flowing, circular style of movement and incorporates joint-locking, weapons, throws, and groundfighting. Tae Kwon Do focuses much more on kicking and, like Karate, does not often teach joint locks, throws, or grappling skills.

Other classes offered at the school are the SWEAT class and kickboxing. Mcclendon says that "Our SWEAT class is a fantastic workout! It changes every single class, and may include barbell and kettlebell training, running, calisthenics, and even kickboxing." For each different program, prospective students can take a free trial class to pick the one best suited.

Parents wondering if they should enroll their child in Kung fu classes can look to the fact that kids' behavior and confidence as well as fitness levels change for the better when they start taking classes. McClendon says that "JMMA parents often tell us that they see big boosts in confidence and manners when their kids start training with us, not to mention improvements in their physical fitness and coordination."

People can begin martial arts at any age, and at JMMA kids as young as four years old can join. Classes are structured to the ability and capacities of each age group. McClendon adds, for those who might be nervous about beginning martial arts, that "We always strive to teach proper and safe technique so that our students get the most out of every workout, and have a blast while they're doing it."

JMMA programs are also a great way to get fit and lose weight. The classes teach students how to work out effectively without spending a lot of time or money on expensive equipment. Short, effective workouts in the classes use strength-building, endurance, and stretching exercises to work out the whole body and improve coordination and balance. Newcomers need not worry about keeping up with experienced students, since everyone learns and progresses at their own pace.

Students find the classes and teachers inspiring, as this comment shows: "For the first time in 14 years, my body is transforming in the right direction! Sifu Whit's passion and ability to teach also help keep me coming back. I visited eight different schools in the Houston area before choosing Jade Mountain."

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