You won’t find these children glued to their Xboxes and mobile phones; they spend their free time chanting Korean, cheering each other on, and performing high-energy kicks and punches with impressive self-discipline.
They are leaning the traditional South Korean sport of taekwondo, instructed by siblings Gav, Prit, and Gurlaine Sidhu who have all practised the sport since they were five.
The family combined their skills and started classes in Luton a year ago, and have had fantastic feedback from parents and students so far.
Prit said: “Taekwondo is really beneficial, even for the little ones. It teaches self-discipline becaues it’s a martial art, plus fitness, strength, and flexibilty because you kick a lot at different heights.
“We teach all the Korean terms and counting, and the natural discipline behind it that we’ve had instilled in us since we were young, that’s what we want our students to have. They shake everyone’s hand when they come in and when they leave, we’re all one family.”
Red belt Patrick Partyka, six, had problems with the muscles in his legs when he started the sport, but a year later his muscles have stretched and he no longer has to wear special insoles.
Mum Ewa Partyka said: “He is full of energy and we wanted to do something with that. I found out about taekwondo and he really enjoys it. Even if he is tired after school and doesn’t want to do anything else, he runs to taekwondo. He had a flat foot and the muscles in his legs were too short, but the training here has made him completely better.”
The classes have also improved Patrick’s lanuage. English is his second language and to begin with Ewa had to accompany him to every lesson to translate for him, but now he is fluent in English – with a bit of Korean thrown in of course.
The Sidhu siblings run classes for juniors and adults, and Prit said the confidence gained from the sport is one of the best aspects.
She said: “Self defence is a major part of it. It’s reassuring to know that if you were in any situation where you were attacked you’d be able to defend yourself.”
Classes take place on Wednesdays and Fridays at Strathmore Church Hall, and Saturdays at Inspire in Stopsley.
Visit www.nextgenerationtkd.com or call 07432114332 to find out more.
> Watch a video of the class and reporter Connie Primmer trying out some moves at www.lutontoday.co.uk