April 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Cedar Lane to Welcome Human Weapon Taekwondo, AKA “Kosher Karate”

Teaneck–Bergen county residents can look forward to the Nov. 2 grand opening of Human Weapon Taekwondo (HWT) at 405 Cedar Lane. HWT has been serving Rockland County with martial arts training classes for over 20 years and is affectionately known as “kosher karate” because of its focus on the specific needs of the Jewish community, including separate men’s and women’s classes.

The school will offer classes in Taekwondo, a Korean martial art style (literally “the art of foot and fist”) that emphasizes spectacular kicks, a system significantly different than karate, a Japanese martial art emphasizing strength. Taekwondo is composed primarily of patterns, step sparring, and sparring. HWT focuses “on beautiful technique and powerful and practical technique,” they say. Unlike other martial arts schools in the area, this new academy will be the only one to teach the traditional style of Taekwondo (ITF) and not the Olympic-style (WTF) which is more common. Traditional-style Taekwondo balances the emphasis on strength, speed and power.

HWT is directed by Master Rich Marinelli, a sixth Dan black belt with over 35 years of experience in Taekwondo. He is a Student of ninth Dan Grandmaster K.S. Hwang and is certified by the Unified International Taekwondo Federation. Marinelli founded the first traditional Taekwondo school in Israel and has devoted his career to the art and sport of traditional Taekwondo. With his wife, Leah, Marinelli has six children, all trained in the martial art, making it truly a family affair.

Son Mickey is a fourth Dan black belt who has taught in Camp Shalom, and he will be continuing his father’s legacy by teaching at the Teaneck division of HWT. Classes will be offered mainly to children at present, with adult classes in development. “It’s exciting to work in an area with parents and children who are so involved in getting their children what they want and need,” said Mickey. “I also see that the community is very together, so it helps people believe that the Jewish people should be unified and strong. Martial arts is a great way to do those things.”

The HWT website describes the benefits of their Taekwondo curriculum, which includes increased skill in self-defense and improved self-confidence, physical fitness, mental focus, self-discipline, and conflict avoidance/resolution (the Taekwondo practitioner’s first law is “First do not get harmed”), in addition to developing strength, grace, and flexibility. Said Mickey:”The reflexes will rise to a new level, sharpening the skills for self-defense.” For more information, see www.humanweapontkd.com.

By Lisa Matkowsky

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