Nonprofit martial arts school in Shively helps kids, seeks sponsor

Nonprofit martial arts school in Shively helps kids, seeks sponsor
Tiger Strike Academy. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Tiger Strike Academy. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Children of all ages, some in yellow belts, some in white, patiently waited for direction at the Tiger Strike Martial Arts Academy on Sunday.

Tiger Strike Martial Arts Academy opened in March in Shively, the brainchild of founders Juan Elder and Andre Carr.

Elder and Carr's goal is to give kids something productive to do while teaching them skills like discipline, values and strength.

Elder and Carr have known each other for 25 years. Inside the school, both are known as 'Sifu', or teacher.

"There is no other person on this planet that I could do this better with," Carr said.

The instructors said years of martial arts taught them order and discipline. They feel it is their responsibility share their skills, Elder and Carr said.

"They are learning to be good people and productive citizens," Carr said. "These kids need this and we need help to keep this going. Because if we don't do anything about it and they crash later, it's partially our fault."

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The martial arts academy has been open for seven months. During that time, the two instructors have been teaching kids a passion for martial arts, which they said has helped shape the lives of their students.

Tiger Strike has participated in nine tournaments in seven months, which helps make the academy and students successful.

"They perform on the stage and when they win, it boosts their morale and boosts their confidence," Carr said.

But running the program is expensive. Carr and Elder use a majority of their own money to fund the academy.

Enrollment is strong, but funding is low. Tiger Strike currently has around 30 students.

"It's not about the money, it's about the love we show them," Elder said.

The academy meets four days a week, and Carr and Elder don't want that stop any time soon.

"The hardest part is keeping the facility going and finances are hard to find," Carr said.

Tiger Strike Martial Arts Academy is looking for sponsors.

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