Students, teachers train free all summer at Pooler Karate

Pooler Karate is expanding the free training summer pass to include teachers this year
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 11:24 AM EDT|Updated: May. 16, 2023 at 4:09 PM EDT
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POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - The free summer pass program was certainly a big hit with teens last year.

“It helps you if you’re having a bad day just get your mind off everything,” says Pooler Karate student Angelina Grant.

Grant, who is now 16, has been training here for the past four years.

“I had never really trained for a sport before until this. So, when I first came, I was definitely nervous.”

But those nerves would quickly fade.

“Once you get on the mat, really, anything you’re thinking about just kind of goes away. You’re just really into your training and not thinking about any of the problems you may have in your life right now. It just kind of goes away,” says Grant.

It’s success stories like her’s that encouraged Pooler Karate and Krav Maga owner Carson Fortner to let teens train free over the summer last year.

“The thing that people don’t understand is, no strings attached whatsoever. People say, ‘what are you getting back for this?’ Community helping the community that’s what we’re getting out of this,” Fortner says.

After seeing how well the free program went for teens, he got another idea.

“I actually had someone hit me up and say, ‘hey, you should do the same things for teachers. They’re stressed they’ve been working hard all year long.’”

Opening it up to all teachers, private, public, college professors, even home school teachers like Jessica English.

“It’s really been the best therapy,” says English.

Which admittedly came as a surprise.

“I never thought I’d do jiujitsu, never. I’m kind of like a bookworm, a reader, a writer. It was very much out of my comfort zone.”

But like Angelina, Jessica found a new home and this teacher became the student.

“Oh, you learn a lot. You learn a lot about yourself. You learn how to defend yourself, it’s applicable real-world stuff too.”

A chance to learn, grow, “take out some frustrations maybe,” jokes Fortner, and maybe even find a new home.

“If you’re looking for a place to belong, for your child to belong, that’s here,” English says.

Again all teens and teachers can take advantage of the summer pass and enjoy free training for all of June and July.

For more information on how to sign up click here.