Kobukan Martial Arts offering self-defense in Picayune

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sensei Richard Mitchell has instructed karate since he was 12-years-old and continues expand his passion for martial arts every day.

Sensei Richard Mitchell has instructed karate since he was 12-years-old and continues expand his passion for martial arts every day.

Self-defense is an important skill for people of all ages, whether used to escape a threatening situation or gaining the confidence in the area of personal protection. Now, people around the Picayune area have a chance to learn an ancient Chinese technique called Shorin Ryu Karate at Kobukan Martial Arts.
Owner, manager and instructor Sensei Richard Mitchell opened Kobukan Martial Arts in Picayune on West Canal Street in September.
Mitchell’s passion for martial arts began as a 5-year-old. Growing up in a military family, he never lived in one place for more than a couple of years, but when he lived in Slidell, La. from 12 to 14 years old, he said knew he found his future home.
“I loved living down here and knew I wanted to come back,” Mitchell said. “And when I decided to locate my first dojo in Picayune, I was excited, and still am, for what this community provides.”
Mitchell said there were a couple of reasons why he decided to establish his dojo in Picayune. When doing research of towns and cities near his current home in Slidell, he, and his step-father, Laurence Vellucci, wanted to find an up-and-coming place with a vibrant community.
“It took little time to see that the community of Picayune loves to support their local businesses, and that is the type of atmosphere I want to be around,” Mitchell said. “It seems like everyone takes great pride in small businesses around here and I want to be a part of a community that appreciates its local involvement.”
Mitchell, a 3rd degree black belt in Shorin Ryu, started instructing Karate classes at the age of 12, building experience in multiple styles of martial arts like Ju-jitsu, kick-boxing, Muay Tai and mixed martial arts.
Mitchell credits his passion for martial arts to his step-father, who is a 7th degree black belt sensei.
“This is my passion. Sometimes you just can’t get something out of your head, and martial arts are that something for me. I am just always thinking about it,” Mitchell said. “To this day, I am constantly trying to expand my mind about it and advance my knowledge and skill.”
Unlike the sport of Tae-Kwon Do, Mitchell’s dojo teaches the original katas that were developed by generations of royal Chinese bodyguards, which includes combat applications such as nerve strikes, grappling, body alignment and pressure point techniques, with self-defense being the focus of the art.
“Nothing is off limits in this style because you need to know how to protect yourself in any situation,” Mitchell said. “We influence the art of self-defense and provide a safe, active and healthy lifestyle for people of all ages.”
Martial arts can help people of all ages, from children who want to protect themselves to adults who want a great workout.
“In martial arts, you are working toward something,” Mitchell said. “I know I can protect myself in situations. You’re going to be strong, you’re going to be fit and ready for anything life throws at you. It’s just a good feeling to have.”
He said learning a martial art is a great workout because it provides an opportunity to build muscle while gaining an understanding of how to use those muscles for protection.
Mitchell provides lessons to fit any schedule. Classes for ages 5 to 7 are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:15 to 6 p.m. Youth classes, for ages 8-12, are held Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:15 to 6 p.m. while adult classes for people 13-years-old or older are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Because Mitchell does not require contracts, like most dojos, people can pay monthly to participate in his lessons, which range from $49 to $59 per month.
He also provides a family plan, private lessons and an after-school karate club Monday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m.
First timers can participate in a lesson for free.
For more information about Kobukan Martial Arts, visit the website at www.picayunekarate.com.

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