Special to the Press-Herald
Like most kids their age, Gage Jordan, Koby Mangrum, and Parker Still wanted to take martial arts to learn self defense. They didn't expect to learn much more than punching and kicking. Gage, Koby, and Parker are this year's TOP GUN winners of the "star system".
Gage began his martial arts training February 2011 and is currently a brown belt. He attends school at Castor High and is on the Principals list. He is also one of only two second graders from Castor to qualify to represent Castor at the ULM statewide cross-country meet. Gage also enjoys basketball and participates in raising money for St. Jude Gage is the seven year old son of of Elizabeth and Joey Jordan of Jamestown, LA.
Koby began his martial arts training March, 2010 and holds the rank of brown belt. He attends Central Elementary.
This is Koby’s second year to win Top Gun. He resides in Heflin, LA with proud parents Misty and Lance Mangrum.
Parker is the nine year old son of Barbara and Brian Still and resides in Taylor, LA. He began his martial arts training October 2010 and is a current member of the All American Black Belt Club. His current rank is also brown belt. In addition to training at Clyde Stanley’s Martial Arts, Parker enjoys hunting, fishing, and traveling. His family attends First Baptist Church of Minden and Parker is a fourth grader at Glenbrook.
Since the star system program has been implemented at Clyde Stanley's Karate & Self Defense it has proven to be one of the best forms of motivation to give students incentive to improve in school and other areas.
Points are awarded to students for making the honor roll, good school attendance, participating in extra school functions such as science fairs, bringing up school grades, and other improvements. Points earn patches which are displayed on the students' karate uniforms. The students who earn the most points for the year receive a new custom made professional karate uniform.
According to Clyde Stanley, "The star system program is unique in that it rewards not only the honor roll students, but also students who bring grades up. For example, we have had students go from all F's to all A's."
The martial arts also help children gain the character-building tools found only in martial arts training. Tools like perseverance, positive mental attitude, self discipline and goal setting aren't always communicated effectively in school, and are also often missing on our soccer and little league baseball, basketball, and football teams. This is unfortunate because teaching children these basic life skills at a young age can have a huge impact. on the degree of success and happiness that children achieve in later life.