Youth enrolled in Fort Bragg’s SKIES (Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills) Unlimited program sharpen life skills through instruction in karate, break dancing, gymnastics, art and other disciplines.

At an afternoon class at Tolson Youth Activities Center, Jan. 9, youth ages 4 to 5 years old, learned various shorei (hard) and shorin (soft) moves with the focus on the fundamentals of karate.

Logan Fogle, 5, could barely keep a straight face from smiling while running suicide exercises and practicing front- and back-kicks.

“I like the kicking (and) the punches because they’re cool,” Logan said.

Sensei Don George, instructor, told Logan to maintain balance and to kick to the center of the bag.

Karate is excellent for military youth because it teaches self-reliance, said George.

“A lot of them (youth) don’t have coping skills and being confident in yourself and being able to do things is very important,” he explained.

Tim O’Shea, an Air Force retiree and the spouse of an active-duty Soldier, said he has noticed a difference in his son, Ryan, 5, since the youngster began karate classes seven months ago.

“He’s more outgoing, more confident . . . this gives him a sport he enjoys,” O’Shea said.

As the Family relocates from post to post, being enrolled in karate will add continuity to Ryan’s schedule and help him transition to other installations.

Youth must be registered with Child, Youth and School Services in order to enroll in karate. Since the classes are offered at varying times on different days, visit or call 643-6039 for more information.