A Q&A on Choe’s HapKiDo at the Carrington Academy
Featuring: Instructor Michael Scott
As a Black Belt instructor at Choe’s HapKiDo, Instructor Michael Scott, 46, has become a familiar face at the Carrington Academy Preschools (the Academy) in three of the locations: Midway, McFarland, and Windermere. He enjoys advancing in the martial art under Cumming’s head instructor, Instructor RJ LoPresti. In the midst of all the training, he clearly has passion in teaching people HapKiDo, and leading the Kids Karate Program at the Academy is just another platform.
Qs & As
- Q1: As you are part of the Choe’s HapKiDo Cumming martial arts program, what is it like to teach martial arts at the Carrington Academy Preschool in Windermere?
- A1: Well to start, I have been teaching at the Carrington Academy Schools for 2 years. This is my second year [Nov. 2016]. We are part of their ancillary programs for their students. If the school has an interest in a karate-type program at their school, we will help them out. The main focus for the program is very similar to our Little Ninjas program. We teach some basic techniques (no belt level) and focus mainly on discipline, respect, and focus. We will take students age 3 to school age, but I have mainly 4 and 5 year olds. I go to three different Carrington campuses, one day a week. The students take a 30 minute class. Currently, I have a total of 13 students across the 3 campuses. I feel honored to have these classes to teach. It shows me that Instructor LoPresti and Master Murphy both trust me to represent the art outside of the main school.
- Q2: Oh wow! Which locations of the Carrington campuses do you instruct at? Also, how big are your classes?
- A2: I teach at the Midway, McFarland, and Windermere campuses. I believe that Carrington contacted Instructor LoPresti about having classes last year. Right now, I have class sizes of 3, 4, and 6. The most I might try to tackle at these ages would be 8.
- Q3: What is an ancillary program?
- A3: The ancillary programs are additional programs that some of the daycares bring in to bolster their program. Classes such as Spanish, Art, Music, Playball, Amazing Athletes, Gymnastics, and Ballet.
- Q4: Is teaching the 4-5 year olds at the Academy different from teaching at Choe’s?
- A4: As for the difference in teaching at the school, the classes are less structured in the fact that the kids don’t wear uniforms. We don’t have belts or the progression through the belts. But the way a class is conducted is the same. We bow in, do warm-ups, target kicking, hand techniques, and self defense. We don’t do rolling and sparring for the safety of the kids. But if any of the parents would like to add that, I always direct them to the school [Choe’s HapKiDo Cumming].
- Q5: How did you start teaching at the Academy? What made you interested in helping out with the Kids Karate program?
- A5: As to how I got started, Instructor LoPresti was getting really busy with his duties as the school was growing. I was without a job at the time, and he felt confident enough in my skills to ask if I wanted to teach the classes. Things just worked out from there. This year, I see some of the students I had last year, and they will come up and give me hug. That is always nice. It lets you know you did your job, changing lives one class at a time.
- Q6: With each academic year at the Carrington Academy, how long would a martial arts program last? Is there a name for the program that the preschool uses?
- A6: At Carrington, we just call them [the programs] Kids Karate Classes. The parents can sign up for six months or a year. That is actually set by Carrington.
For more information on Choe’s HapKiDo in Georgia, visit: www.ilovemartialartsgeorgia.com. Choe’s HapKiDo serves the following locations: Cumming, Duluth, Flowery Branch, Lawrenceville, and Loganville.
For more information on the Carrington Academy Preschools, visit www.carringtonacademy.com.
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Interviewed by: Christie McGowan