Virtual Martial Arts provides outlet for students

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– Students around Middle Georgia had to stop several after-school activities due to COVID-19.

Okinawan Karate School in Forsyth, is offering online classes for kids to keep them up and active. Sansei Michael Brewster, says it’s been difficult to watch his students deal with the pandemic.

“This is just throwing them for a loop and is totally different,” Brewster said, “I’m sure they’re good at video games or on their tablets now or on YouTube you know now it’s like a way of life. But to be doing that the whole day now I don’t think it’s very healthy or good.”

Madison Epps is a student at Okinawan Karate School. She says although the virtual option is nice and likes seeing new people attend the virtual classes, she would still prefer to go back to normal.

“Sometimes there are glitches with the technology and whatnot, and it’s harder to learn what you’re doing,” said Epps.

Chris Hoenes says his 7-year-old son hasn’t been able to participate in person because of allergies.  Hoenes says the virtual classes have been a wonderful outlet.

“With the karate, we stayed with it because it’s something he looks forward to,” Hoenes said, “It gives him a goal to achieve as far as belt advancement, and the teachers at the studio are really good with the kids.”

Sensai Brewster encourages parents doing virtual learning to hang in there, and reminds them extracurricular activities can benefit a child mentally and physically.

“Being patient I think is the most important thing,” Brewster said, “Letting them both be active like we talked about and have fun, kind of like a combination and take some breaks. There is no way a kid is going to be able to sit in a desk.”

Some of the virtual classes OKS offer are available on their YouTube channel. Students can pause the videos to learn at their own pace.

Both locations in Forsyth and Macon are open for in-person instruction. OKS will stay open during the school year for monitored virtual learning. The socially distanced classes will host a maximum of 14 students, with an e-learning facilitator to help students.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.