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Faith important for Tae Kwon Do teacher

Chuck Lane teaches kids how to look people in the eye. But beyond that, he teaches them to look in another important place — within themselves.

“I don’t want you to believe in yourself because I tell you to,” he says. “I want you to believe in yourself because you’ve learned that you have greatness inside you.”

Lane, an instructor at Chilton County Tae Kwon Do, won’t even let his students throw strikes until they have the ability to adequately block — a skill he says builds self confidence and self worth.

He also has another rule — avoiding physical confrontation. In fact, he will not teach a student who gets into a fight.

“There is always a way to avoid it. Always,” he says.

Lane, a Chicago native, has called Chilton County home for nearly 20 years. At age 10, his father encouraged him to start training in Japanese karate, or Isshin-Ryu.

Discipline was a big reason for the training, considering the fact that Lane had six brothers and two sisters.

As an adult, Lane wanted to teach his children the martial arts, so when his son, Skylor, turned 6, he enlisted him in a Tae Kwon Do class. Tae Kwon Do was the primary type of class offered in the area.

“He took it for about three weeks, and I decided I was going to do it with him because it was something we could do together,” he recalled.

Now, at 20, Skylor teaches along with his dad at Chilton County Tae Kwon Do.

Faith also plays in important role in Lane’s philosophy (he is also a youth minister at Poplar Springs Baptist Church). This, he indicated, plays into every aspect of one’s life, not just when in training mode.

Lane says there are two types of muscle memory — physical and spiritual.

“The only way you’re going to talk to somebody about Jesus is if you spend time with Jesus,” he says.

The concept of a spiritual walk can also be seen in the school’s symbol, which reads: “It’s not the goal. It’s the journey.”

Tammy Gentry, a student of Lane’s in a women’s self defense course, has a husband and two children who take Tae Kwon Do. She says he challenges her children in a positive way.

“He doesn’t just challenge them expecting an end result. He challenges them expecting to see an effort,” she said. “If they can apply that kind of effort in everyday life, they will have results.”

Added fellow student Micheal Mitchell, “He is a good, positive influence and a good role model.”

Lane teaches boys and girls, men and women ages 6 and up. The school participates in four tournaments per year. And he says it’s never too late to learn.

“I’ve got friends who can do this who are in their 60s,” he says.