Kicking it up a notch: Y adds karate, other groups to roster

Two students training in Muscatine Community Y's newly added karate class.

MUSCATINE, Iowa–On and off over the last 30 years, the Muscatine Community Y has offered karate lessons to give members an introduction to martial arts and a fun way to get fit. This year, the Y has brought back this perennially popular offering and looks to add new classes in time for spring.

Since the beginning of February, the Y has offered karate Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 7 p. m. Designed for those ages 14 and up, the class teaches Shorin Ryu Karate, which combines the Chinese martial art of Kung Fu with Te, a traditional Okinawan punching art. A way to train both the body and mind, Health Promotion Services Director Mel Steckel describes it as, “a very physical class,” that, “focuses on a lot of conditioning.” Currently, Y members may enroll in this class for free, and non-members can join for $20 per month.

Starting in March, the Muscatine Community Y looks forward to adding a brand new Silver Sneakers class designed to provide a fun fitness opportunity for older adults. Taught by a certified Silver Sneakers instructor, the class will incorporate a handful of props, including chairs, exercise balls, and light weights, to give older adults who enjoy staying active a new way to work out. Free to all Y members, anyone whose insurance covers Silver Sneakers can participate for free as well. Currently, the Y has not set a specific day or time, but they plan to announce that information via their Facebook page and Instagram account soon.

Whether you would like to try out karate for yourself or learn about one of the Y’s other group fitness classes, you may come try them at no cost, regardless of weather or not you have a membership, during their upcoming demo week. Running from Feb. 21 through 27, Marketing and Development Director Nicole McCleary finds the week an excellent time to, “come observe a class, meet the instructor, and try it out.”

As people look for new ways to get regular exercise into their lives, Steckel feels the Y’s numerous classes, including its recently added karate class, will provide exactly what they need: ““Our goal is to provide healthy opportunities for everyone – especially post-COVID when many of us may not have stuck to our fitness goals and routines. We are here to help our community members be more active and help folks get back on track!”