The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of karate is most likely Carl Douglas’ classic song “Kung Fu Fighting” or even the 80s’ classic “The Karate Kid”. That’s why it might come as a surprise to learn that a group of senior residents from Emerald Court, a Kisco Senior Living community, will soon tie on their white belts and begin learning the ancient art of karate. On Friday, May 10 at 10:00 a.m., the residents will gather together at the senior living community (1731 West Medical Center Drive) for their first martial arts class. During the lesson attendees will learn not only how to balance their body and improve their physical wellness, but also the basics of self-defense. For residents participating, the class will be particularly exciting as it provides the opportunity to improve their well-being all while learning something new.
The karate seminar will be the first of many as the community begins a partnership with the American Martial Arts Academy. The academy has been serving the community in Orange County for more than 25 years and strives to help people of all ages improve the physical, mental and social aspects of their lives while working together as a team. The partnership with Emerald Court began after Shirley, the mother of the academy’s co-owner and CFO, Bonnie Wenneberg, and mother-in-law of the academy’s co-owner and CEO, Shihan Brad Wenneberg, made the decision to call the senior living community her new home. When the first session begins, Sensei Jeremy Schilling will lead the attendees as they start their journeys into the world of karate.
“I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to work with the residents and show them that martial arts isn’t just about self-defense,” said Schilling. “Karate provides a number of benefits to the student, foremost being improvement in one’s health and wellness, but also a sense of confidence and pride in one’s ability to perform the movements. When you regularly engage in martial arts there is a level of discipline that is applied to the practice, giving students a strength that is physical but also mental as well. When I teach I have students as young as two all the way to 90, so it will be exciting to see how the residents react and engage with the class.”
After the initial seminar, the community and Schilling will determine whether the class becomes a regular part of the community’s health and wellness activities. Schilling wants to use this first lesson as an opportunity to evaluate the residents and assess their physical capabilities and limitations to ensure that as they move forward it will be beneficial to their overall health and wellness.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to begin our karate program and are looking forward to seeing our residents get started,” said Cynthia Edwards, executive director of Emerald Court. “Our philosophy is to ensure residents have the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest, and with programs such as this one we know they have access to an activity that will enable them to have fun and enjoy themselves all while improving their health and well-being.”