Martial arts aren’t only about fighting. Just ask Chris George, owner of Fighting Dragons, a martial arts school located here in Elizabethtown. “We want [our students] to have respect and self-confidence,” says George. Classes in Brazilian Ju Jitsu, Core-to-Force, Pound, Zumba, MMA, Aerial Yoga, W.A.V.E., and gymnastics take place in an environment George says also instills Fighting Dragon’s core values: courtesy, integrity, self-control, perseverance, and indomitable spirit.
George’s attitude impacts the whole building. Kayla Firestone continues to teach at Fighting Dragons “because of the environment this particular gym seems to nurture.” Instructor Randy Kuhn appreciates that he can still learn while he teaches. “Through instructing I am becoming a better martial artist,” Kuhn says. Roger Engle chose martial arts when he was young and picked on in school. Then, he was in a bike accident. “I felt I was out of shape. I enrolled in my friend’s martial arts school, and we started together. He stayed for a couple of months, but I loved it, and by six months, I [knew] I was going to be an instructor and start my own school. Within a year after [the place where I trained] closed down, I [was running] a karate school. I loved it.”
Classes often start with stretching and warm ups, then proceed into technique instruction. Staff develop plans for each class based on Fighting Dragon’s curriculum. “What we do well is blending traditional techniques with a practical approach to self defense,” says Firestone.
“I am very proud of the staff,” George says. “I think we are more of a martial family than a school.”
By Makenzi McFeaters
Photo credit: Makenzi McFeaters