Veteran teaches community martial arts classes for free
NEWAYGO COUNTY, Michigan – For nearly 25 years, Frank Ferrier has spent his summers imparting his martial arts knowledge to students of all ages at Fremont Lake Park.
The Marine Corps veteran and black belt 7th Dan runs free classes twice a week, typically attracting between 20 and 40 students per class.
“I try to teach them everything I can,” Ferrier said. “And I try to make them better than me. When they can run me over I’m excited… if they learn something that will help them not get hurt, that’s great.”
Ferrier, who has reached Masters level, has been practicing martial arts since he was a teenager.
Classes teach self-defense skills and basic techniques, as well as what Ferrier calls “street movements”.
Students also learn important lessons in discipline, patience, and respect.
“They learn to be quiet, they learn to sit still,” Ferrier told FOX 17 News. “They learn to bow, it’s like a handshake. And, they find out that I will give them as much respect as they give me.”
“When they do something, you see that little glint in their eyes, and they’re excited… They’re excited to be able to accomplish something that they never thought they could do, and it’s worth it.”
Ferrier estimates that he has taught around four thousand students so far, and has no plans to quit anytime soon.
“I tried to retire a few years ago,” he said. “I had one of my black belts to take over. But, I was there at every class watching. I just couldn’t stay away.”
Although the free classes are over for the summer, Ferrier teaches at the Fremont Community Rec Center during the winter.
As a FOX 17 and Lake Michigan Credit Union Pay it Forward Person of the Month, Ferrier receives a prize of $ 550.
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