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Winder Martial Arts Empowers Karate Students Of All Ages In Family-Forward Studio

By Pamela Sosnowski

While most forms of exercise can help one lose weight and stay in shape, few teach self-confidence and self-defense skills quite like any form of martial arts. At Winder Martial Arts, owner and lead instructor Allie Riebau loves seeing her youngest students develop a lifelong confidence through martial arts training.

"There is little else that is more fulfilling than watching a child grow in our program," she says. "Frequently, we will have a new student start that has little self-confidence and self-esteem but within a few months they come out of their shell and are glowing with confidence!"

The family-oriented martial arts center focuses on Hapkido, a Korean martial arts technique that incorporates elements of Judo and Jujitsu with striking and kicking, which Riebau describes as "getting the best of all worlds." A typical class begins with deep breathing, meditation, stretching, and warming up followed by kicking, striking, and other self-defense moves. Like other forms of martial arts, different colored belts can be achieved in Hapkido, with the potential to earn a black belt within three years with regular training.

The school isn't just for kids. One of the hardest myths about martial arts, according to Riebau, is that adults can be trained as easily as the littlest students. Not only does martial arts help parents bond with their kids, but it provides many physical and psychological benefits to adults.

"Fitness, self-defense, and family bonding are the biggest benefits for adults," says Riebau. "Martial arts is an incredible workout, a fun activity to share with family, and a practical skill set that applies to multiple aspects of life. It is not only about learning how to kick and punch; its about developing the person as a whole. People, in general, view a person who earned a black belt as someone with lots of discipline, respect, etiquette, determination, and perseverance."

To encourage parents to participate, Winder Martial Arts offers one of the best family discounts of any martial arts school in the area. But if Hapkido is not your thing, the studio teaches kickboxing as well, an intense workout that can burn up to 800 calories in one session. Riebau says it's one of the fastest growing workout trends.

The school also hosts kids birthday parties, where guests can enjoy a fun martial arts class, play games, and can cut the birthday cake with an authentic Samurai sword. As a family-focused business, Winder Martial Arts' instructors and staff are friendly and supportive, ensuring that everyone has a great time while getting fit. The flexible class schedules and programs also fit into anyone's busy life.

"We are a family owned studio and treat all of our students like family, too," says Riebau. "Parents love the support we offer and kids love our classes." To learn more about what Winder Martial Arts has to offer, please visit their website at

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