TYLER, Texas (KETK) – This year, several new sports were introduced to the Olympics. Among the handful, popular pastime Karate is debuting at the Summer Games on August 5th. Both men and women will be competing in form and sparring in Tokyo.

The team at East Texas Martial Arts in Tyler is excited that more martial arts will be included on the world stage. Chief Instructor Juan Monsivais says the addition of karate is long overdue because the sport has been practiced worldwide for centuries. 

The Tyler facility teaches students different aspects of karate and taekwondo. During lessons, they learn how to kick, punch, self-defense, and discipline, but Monsivais says practicing the art offers so much more than the physical aspects. 

“It really helps you build those life skills. So whether you’re a child or an adult or a teen, or you’ve never done any kind of athletic anything before, it really helps you strive for being better every day.” 

Juan Monsivais, Chief Martial Arts Instructor

The instructor says they want to, “Inspire people to be better than they were yesterday and to really go through and persevere through their struggles. So, whatever stands in their way, if they can do something like kick and punch in taekwondo and karate then they can do anything.”

KETK and Fox 51 Morning Reporter Corrine Benandi stopped by the facility for a quick class where she learned different aspects of martial arts. The class showed her how to properly perform a “hammer fist” punch. Instructor Monsivais also taught her how to break a board with her fist. For her attendance, the class awarded her a white belt. 

To watch the inaugural year of karate at the Summer Games, tune in to KETK, your local Olympics headquarters.