By Christian Price, News9.com INsite Team
OKLAHOMA CITY, -- For $120 dollars a year, children burn off energy, become more respectful of others and learn how to protect themselves through self-defense. Along the way, they might even become a state champion.
Every Monday and Wednesday night, the Sellers Community Center in south Oklahoma City becomes filled with children screaming and yelling, but not out of distress. It's the children's Judo class practicing new moves and takedowns from Sensei David Seidner.
"It gives them an activity to do that's structured," Seidner said. "They have a lot of fun at it and they get a lot of exercise. They seem to work really hard at it."
The class is made up of children from the ages of 6 to 17-years-old who work at it so hard, in fact, the class is filled with multiple state champions.
"We go to tournaments throughout the state and we go to Texas and Kansas," Seidner said. "The nationals were in Texas a couple of years ago. We had several national placers, so we're doing great."
Paige Beasley, 11, is proud of what she has learned in the self-defense class. She's proud to be one of the only a few girls who are involved.
"It shows my toughness," Beasley said. "That's how tough I can be, and if I ever get in trouble, I can just use my Judo."
The weekly class is a family affair for the Garners. The class has paid off in several ways for their family. Both Dylan and Jake Garner have been state champions multiple times. The boys' dad, Russell, pointed out that they can even protect themselves and others from bullies now.
"They actually had an incident where another kid in the neighborhood was picking on one of their little friends," Russell said. "He was quite a bit bigger kid and Dylan just flat took him down. He threw him down on the ground and that was it."
The class is taught to never use what they know unless they absolutely have to. The only other times are in class and at tournaments.
The Judo class is at 6 pm to 8 pm Monday and Wednesday every week at the Sellers Community Center, 8301 South Villa. For more information about the class or any other class offered, call 685-3311.