Hometown Hero--Chuck Elias

Chuck Elias
Chuck Elias

A Low Country karate instructor was recently recognized by TV and movie star Chuck Norris for what he gives to the martial art. But it's what he does for children in the area that makes Chuck Elias a WTOC Hometown Hero.

Karate just seems to be in Elias' blood. In fact, he spends most of his time on the mats, teaching students at his school, Club Karate, which he started nearly 20 years ago.

But Elias' classes aren't just centered around physical maneuvers and fighting: it's about empowering his students and preparing them for anything life throws their way.

"I hope to have an effect on people when they come here, help them learn they are in control of their destiny, that they have the power to make decisions about their life through their life, whether they're an adult or four years old," Elias told us.

And he helps them realize this through "chun ku do."

"Do translates to way, way meaning your path, you learn about yourself so much," he explained. "It's finding about yourself, your journey through whatever you are doing."

And the way he teaches his students is what really stands out.

"Chuck spends time with them one on one," parent Cindy Lawson said. "He gets to know them, what they're like. He's real patient with them."

"Mr. Elias teaches them how to handle themselves in hard situations and they also learn the code of ethics and I love that about this karate class," added parent Shirley Small.

And while teaching them new moves, Elias seems to give his students a boost of confidence.

"It builds up my self-confidence and just thinking that I might get promoted soon makes me excited," said student Hannah Lawson.

Student Jacob Lawson put it another way: "It's just cool...I can always defend myself."

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com