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Sensei Jared Kidman: Teaching martial arts in Mendon

September 24th, 2009 Posted in Arts and Life

By Kade Delis

MENDON — Jared Kidman teaches a martial arts school for adolescents and young adults. A third-degree black belt and a lifetime Mendon resident, Kidman is a sensei who helps youth stay active and grow up while expanding the teachings of this ancient art.

In Japan, sensei means teacher of some sort, whether he be a schoolteacher or martial arts master. Kidman, a teacher at River Heights Elementary School who has been active in martial arts for most of his life, considers this a great teaching opportunity while being close to home.

The name of his school is the White Tiger School because, Kidman says, when uniforms were made, it was the easiest to draw.

Kidman, 30, began taking classes at age 10, and then was an assistant for four years before becoming a full time instructor in 2001.

“I think, for the most part, everyone enjoys it,” says Kidman. “I had one student who, after taking the classes, filled his room with Asian artifacts.”

Kidman said the students range in age from 5 to 20 years old; half of them are elementary school age and the other half are 15 to 20 years old. His enrollment increases when school starts and decreases during the summer season when soccer and football are primary interest.

“Parents need somewhere to put their kids,” explains Kidman.

Kidman said that the students practice every aspect of martial arts, from sparring to takedowns to board breaking. Board breaking, he says, is one of the favorites and helps the kids overcome mental blocks.

Kidman instructs his students every Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Mendon Station and his front yard.

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