Taekwondo helps teach confidence

NANAIMO – Parks and rec offers classes for children as well as adults.

Master Moyasser (Moy) Mahmoud

Blame Jackie Chan for Master Moy Mahmoud’s love of the martial arts.

Mahmoud, a sixth-degree black belt in taekwondo and certified international master instructor, is teaching the Korean martial art through the City of Nanaimo’s parks and recreation department. His love of the art dates back to his childhood in Egypt.

“I was six years old and the new [VHS] players came out in the late 1970s and my dad rented a video with Jackie Chan,” said Mahmoud. “I watched that movie and I liked it. I started to learn all the movements there. It’s not accurate, but just trying to jump like him, do this stuff, then I started to break stuff at home.”

Mahmoud said he practised on everything from furniture to pillows and even his little brother. Mahmoud’s father, a high school teacher, knew students who trained and who in turn referred him to a club.

While Mahmoud started in kung fu, he eventually moved on to taekwondo and it has become his passion, something he hopes to pass on to students with the rec department’s offerings at Bowen Park and Oliver Woods community centres starting in April.

There are numerous courses for children between three and 12 years old, and also classes for people 12 years and up. Mahmoud even has a student who is 71 years old.

For the three- and four-year olds, the focus is on discipline, such as requiring them to sit still and listen to the instructor, and for older people, the focus is on technique, breathing systems and goal setting. There are other benefits as well.

“Physical benefits will be increasing flexibility, conditioning, coordination, a lot of agility exercise in taekwondo,” Mahmoud said. “Mentally, it’s like focusing for students. There’s a lot of research that proves that students that need to focus in their education, they need to do some kind of activity, like this.”

Mahmoud also said it leads to self confidence, which he says is the most common element of all martial arts.

“When we test the students and they earn a belt, that’s building up their confidence. That’s a good achievement for them. Also, when we ask the high belts, like black belt or red belt, to break a board, that’s building up confidence as well,” said Mahmoud.

For more information, please see the Activity Guide under the parks and recreation tab at www.nanaimo.ca.

Just Posted

Police on motorcycles tap on windows of distracted drivers

Nanaimo RCMP Supt. Cameron Miller said a police motorcycle has been effective in enforcement

VIU, City of Nanaimo collaborating on geese management

City staff have not discussed cull with council

VIDEO: Canada C3 celebrates Canada 150, raises subject of reconciliation

Research icebreaker, travelling the country’s oceans as part of 150 celebrations, docks in Nanaimo

Kellers Jewellers in Lantzville suffers damage in break-in

Incident happened around 5:30 a.m. Oct. 21, says Nanaimo RCMP

Petroleum spill temporarily closes crab fishing dock

Dock closed for public safety after oily sheen forms on water off Maffeo Sutton Park

V.I. Raiders win B.C. football championship

Nanaimo’s junior team defeated the Westshore Rebels 21-7 Saturday on a rainy night in Victoria

Nanaimo Clippers win back-to-back games on home ice

The Clips defeated the Coquitlam Express 4-3 and the Prince George Spruce Kings 5-2

Campbell River teen has been missing almost a week

Public is asked to circulate images of Jordan Holling, 17, who went missing Monday

Island college instructor describes ‘unprecedented’ astronomical discovery

Comox Valley instructor’s research involves explaining the production of chemical elements in stars

Jewelry store smashed up with crowbar, silver and gold stolen

Owner of Kellers Jewellers said the most expensive items were locked away in a safe

Designs revealed for downtown conference centre hotel

A development permit application for the Courtyard by Marriott hotel has been submitted

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Most Read