CHIEF LOGAN STATE PARK — Martial Arts Master Carlos Turner was pleased with Saturday’s fourth annual tournament.
More than 40 kids turned out to compete in the karate and sport jujitsu tournament which causes Turner to believe that interest in martial arts in the coalfields continues to grow.
“It’s been a great tournament. I’m pleased with the number of kids we had competing,” Turner said. “It’s all about the little kids. These are our future martial artists.
“You know, there are about 5 million kids competing in martial arts and I want to see the interest here in southern West Virginia to continue to grow each year. I’m just trying to bring this to southern West Virginia and get more and more kids involved.”
Turner has been involved in martial arts since he was 13 years old. He has been teaching the arts almost as long. Many of his students came down to the Chief Logan Rec Center on Saturday to help their mentor with the tournament.
“It’s so great to see kids come back to help out,” Turner said. “I hope I’ve made a lasting impression on them and helped them become better people through the training I’ve given them. The ultimate goal is to make all of my students into better men and women.”
Turner had five schools competing in the tournament that began around 11 a.m. and lasted throughout the day. He said there were so many other events going on in the area on Saturday that he was pleased he had so many participants.
“This is a good group, since there are so many things going on, like the high school football championships,” Turner said.
The Chief Logan Rec Center has been Turner’s home base for nearly three years now. He teaches martial arts classes at the Rec Center each week.
Turner encourages kids to get involved in martial arts training. He said it has a bigger impact on their lives than what they might imagine.
“Some kids are not fast runners, or can’t jump high for basketball, nor can they throw a 75 mile and hour fastball,” Turner said. “But, they can participate in martial arts and that can make them better in all the other sports, like basketball, baseball and football.”
For more information on Master Carlos Turner’s martial arts classes or for more information on the activities and facilities the rec center offers, call the Chief Logan Rec Center at 304-855-8591.