CLEARFIELD — Students at a Kuk Sul Kido martial arts class say they’ve discovered health for both body and spirit there.
Lenna Berg, who is a mother to three students who attend the class, said she notices the differences when others tell her about her children’s behavior.
“It’s wonderful when people report back that your kids are good kids,” she said last week as her children were warming up at the Prolific Fitness and Spa building. “They are still teenagers. There’s always still problems but everyone else tells me how respectful they are.”
The Berg children of Willard, ages 19, 16 and 13, started into martial arts when the middle child and only girl, Bobbi Berg, was chased by a boy in the fifth grade.
“Now, I can feel protection,” she said, also noting how she can take on anything presented to her in gym class without batting an eye.
The kind of martial arts the family is learning is called Kuksu Hapkido. It’s a form of discipline and physical fitness that dates back to about 3,000 years ago in South Korea, said instructor and owner of Kuk Sul Kido in Clearfield and Brigham City Dorian Kunzler.
Kunzler said he got excited about martial arts in junior high for the same reasons his students do now.
“Just knowing you don’t have to be afraid is great,” he said.
But the discipline he’s learned also has helped him in the workforce. A young entrepreneur with expertise in information technology, Kunzler also owns a business as a consultant.
“It helps you in the workforce too,” he said. “I have been toward the top in everything in my career.”
Kunzler said from the beginning when he learned martial arts, he was more prepared for school work and life in general.
He said the discipline transforms students into “better people overall” as they learn confidence and self-esteem, which can also translate into better test-taking abilities and better preparation for school work.
Originally trained in other forms of martial arts, Kunzler said he prefers Kuksu Hapkido because it requires its instructors to be at least fourth degree black belts.
“We have a lot more years before becoming an instructor,” he said.
But the students said they are more concerned about what happens to them in the present as a result of their martial arts training.
“When I get to school, I know none of my friends will be afraid when I’m around,” said Terry Berg, 13.
And 19-year-old Tim Berg said his high school experience at Box Elder High School was much different as a result.
“There was some kid wanting to pick a fight and prove he was bigger,” Tim Berg said. “I ended the fight quickly and walked away.”
Then he confessed to this happening on multiple occasions, even though he didn’t believe his school to be violent overall.
“Most situations that aren’t that calm just end up being handled,” he said.
Besides that, Tim Berg said he liked the training, the exercise and the self control he learned from Kunzler’s class.
Now, Tim Berg is planning to join the Army as soon as an injury in his art is healed.
He said his martial arts training has helped him in his progression toward military life.
Another family at the class, father Hal Vu of Layton and children Helena, 11, and Ben, 9, was happy with what they were learning last week.
“It makes it nice to know that they’ll be safe,” said the father who has brought his family to the class for about two years.
The father boasted of the good exercise and confidence he and his children were getting and he also said if he ever has to use the training he will.
He said the discipline also helps him in his work as a software engineer.
You may reach reporter JaNae Francis at 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at JaNaeFrancisSE. Like her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SEJaNaeFrancis.