Last updated: July 18. 2013 9:05AM - 591 Views
MICHAEL BROWNING, Executive Editor



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CHIEF LOGAN STATE PARK -- Carlos Turner wants to make a difference in his community and he's doing it by teaching martial arts to kids.
Turner, a longtime karate and kickboxing teacher from Switzer, said he believes martial arts creates good discipline for kids and helps them become successful in life.
"This teaches them self-defense and self-discipline and self-control," Turner said. "It's not just fighting."
Recently, Turner held the second annual Turner Karate Jujitsu Tournament at the Chief Logan Rec Center. Nearly 40 kids, teens and adults competed in the tourney and the court was packed with fans of the mixed martial arts sport.
"I've been training some of my blackbelts that are here for years," Turner said. "A lot of these kids are really good."
"This is our second annual southern West Virginia karate and sports jujitsu tournament," Turner said. "And we're doing it for the kids. It's a sports we're trying to bring back alive. This was the first sport before there was ever a mixed martial arts. I'm trying to help bring it back to prominence. I'm working with Angie Woolum from over in Williamson and she has a tournament. Some of her kids are competing in this tournament."
Turner said the kids work with weapons and "katas" which is a form of martial arts dance.
"This teaches kids discipline and focus," Turner said. "I have a lot of kids who have attention deficit disorder and this helps them focus. This even helps them focus better on their school work. They get more focus from learning this."
Turner said the sport is growing in southern W.Va.
"It's been around since before I got started with Chuck Norris, back in the 1980s," Turner said. "It is growing in popularity here. It's been around a long time."
Turner said he will be teaching a class at the Chief Logan Rec Center and he is continuing to instruct in Switzer.
"I'm teaching my class here and at Switzer and, hopefully, this will grow," Turner said. "I want people to see how good this is. Twenty percent of my kids don't have any place to go or anything to do, so I provide them a place where they can come train, free of charge."
Turner also works with Greg Dillon from Madison.
"We hope it can grow," Turner said. "Next year, we hope to incorporate U.S.A. Boxing and kickboxing, along with this. We want martial arts to grow."
The Chief Logan Rec Center opened earlier this year along Corridor G between Logan and Chapmanville and is located near the Chief Logan Conference Center and Earl Ray Tomblin Convention Center. The rec center has around 1,000 members and offers workout classes, aerobics, water aerobics and other healthy lifestyle opportunities. It has an Olympic-size swimming pool, three tennis courts and weight rooms and equipment and a walking track that circles the three tennis courts.
Terry Mullins is the director at the rec center.
Turner said he can be contacted at the Chief Logan Rec Center by calling 304-855-8591.
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