With six years of martial arts training under his belt, Mervin Lare of Hillsboro is ready to pass on what he has learned about power and focus to others, and he is doing it through Monday evening karate lessons at Hillsboro Elementary School.
“I really like the exercise, coordination, and complexity of it,” Lare said. “Martial arts helps people of all ages learn discipline and focus, which carries over to all aspects of life. For kids, it helps them channel energy into positive action and keeps them out of trouble.”
Lare grew up in Phillipsburg, and then completed an engineering degree at Kansas State University in Manhattan. He moved to Hillsboro in 2010 when he gained employment as a construction engineer for Kansas Department of Transportation at Marion.
“I started karate while a student at K-State,” he said. “I taught some other classes there, supervised by black belt leaders, but this is my first class on my own.”
The official name of what Lare is teaching in Hillsboro is Goshin Karate, which focuses on stability and power for fighting.
“We started with the basic kiba dachi stance on Monday,” he said. “It is also known as the horse stance and it is the first fighting stance that almost everyone learns in karate. All other moves come from a good solid base. That is what we are working from.”
Lare welcomes students of any age to his classes, with a limit of eight years and older.
“Older students are easier to teach,” Lare said. “But I really enjoy the kids because we can be silly and still learn discipline.”
Students can join anytime, as long as they stop by city hall in Hillsboro and sign up first.
“It would be great if more students want to come,” Lare said. “But the numbers don’t really matter. I am here to teach karate to the best of my ability, whether I have five students or 40.”
Goshin Karate teaches a system of empty-handed moves that evolved in Okinawa from Chinese Chuan Fa fighting methods. It is foremost a striking system that depends on punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques as a realistic form of self defense.