By Curt Yeomans
A small class of three students and one teacher spent an hour on Tuesday night doing front kicks, side kicks, front jabs, uppercuts and crosses at the Clayton County headquarters library branch.
The library was experimenting with a new cardiovascular, kickboxing class, which met this week for the first time. After some initial technical difficulties involving a CD, everything got back on track with the discovery of some other CDs.
As a result, the class participants spent most of their hour getting a work out while Tone Loc's "Funky Cold Medina" continuously played in a loop.
The goal of the class is to provide children and their parents with an outlet for some cardiovascular exercise, said Sherry Thomas, an employee in the library's youth services department, and the class' teacher.
"With cardio, it's all about getting the body moving because it burns calories, but it also gets the heart rate going," Thomas said. "In kickboxing, there is a lot of moving involved with all of the punching and kicking that you do."
In order to make this experimental class a success, Thomas said she is going to need higher interest in the class.
There will be a second kickboxing class at the library, but a date has not yet been set, she said. Thomas also said the possibility of future classes will depend on community interest. "We've already had a couple of parents call up and say we should do it twice a month," Thomas said.
Kickboxing's roots go back more than 2,000 years to ancient Asia, but it's modern form is only 30 years old, according to kidshealth.org.
The activity involves routines which include a variety of fighting techniques, such as uppercuts, punches and kicks. Thomas said a person can burn more than 300 calories by doing kickboxing for an hour.
"I was interested in taking the class, because I like moving a lot," said Morrow resident, Ashley Hicks, 13, who attended the class with her sister, Amber, 14, and her mother, Sharon, 39, as a family bonding experience.
"I thought there would be stuff hanging from the wall and we'd have to hit that over and over, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that is not the case."
Sharon Hicks said she liked the fact that Thomas, occasionally, let the students come up front and lead a kickboxing routine. "It made it more interactive, and my daughters really enjoyed it," she said.
For more information about the class, contact the library's youth services department at (770) 473-3850.