JUST FOR KICKS: Martial artists use church class to hone skills

  • Local martial artist Brett Cloer practices delivering blows on a dummy during a recent martial arts class at Spruce Pine First Baptist Church. Cloer is one of dozens of students of all ages and experience levels who attend the classes twice per week to hone their skills. Classes are taught by Rocky Branch. (MNJ photo/Cory Spiers)
  • Martial artist David Lucas (left) leads a trio of fellow students during a group phase of a martial arts class at Spruce Pine First Baptist Church. Classes are open to all experience levels. (MNJ photo/Cory Spiers)
  • Spruce Pine First Baptist Church Pastor and Karate Instructor Rocky Branch demonstrates proper technique as Kayleigh Hollifield watches and tries her best to replicate it. Branch teaches a karate class at the church twice per week. The class is open to all ages and skill levels. Classes cost $1 and consist of instruction from Branch with help from other experienced martial artists. (MNJ photo/Cory Spiers)
A church building might seem like an unlikely place to find a martial arts academy, but it’s reality at Spruce Pine First Baptist Church where the Hope 4 Mitchell County Martial Arts Academy meets…

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