At Laguna Beach Dojo, students come for exercise, but leave with irreplaceable skills.
By Sharael Kolberg
Jeff Kash, owner of Laguna Beach Dojo, has been teaching mixed martial arts to a variety of ages and skill levels for nearly 20 years. A football injury in high school led him to physical therapy, where his therapist planted the seed about trying martial arts. It wasn’t until after college that he finally gave it a try, but he was immediately hooked. Kash eventually gave up his engineering career to teach martial arts full time.
“Martial arts classes were the first thing I spent my money on after graduating from college,” Kash says. “It is a true passion of mine and has helped me grow physically, mentally and spiritually.”
Kash is now a sixth-degree black belt and teaches Shaolin Kempo, a mix of karate, kung fu and jiujitsu with an added focus on fitness, self-defense and life skills. At Laguna Beach Dojo, he offers group and private lessons with students ranging in age from 3 to 81.
We sat down with Kash to discuss what his programs entail and why he feels martial arts is such an important activity to participate in.
Laguna Beach Magazine: What type of programs do you offer?
Jeff Kash: At Laguna Beach Dojo, we offer three programs: Little Dragons for ages 3 to 7 years, family classes for parents and kids to train together, and adult group or private classes. Age 5 to 6 is a great time to start. If they start at that age, they can earn a second-degree black belt by the time they graduate high school.
What kind of workout do you get from doing martial arts?
JK: Martial arts is a fantastic full-body workout. You will work muscles you don’t even know you have. It incorporates strength building, cardio and stretching.
What are some hidden benefits of martial arts?
JK: Self-defense, life skills and character development. The practice really helps you get to know your strengths, weaknesses and values. Students learn focus, discipline, grit, perseverance, consistency, respect [and] confidence. Business executives even go on to use these skills during meetings in the boardroom.
What should a first-timer expect?
JK: We offer a free introductory/evaluation lesson. No matter what age, physicality or limitations someone has, the workouts can be adapted to meet specific needs. The biggest step is walking in the door the first time.
Do you offer classes online as well as in person?
JK: We livestream all classes via Zoom. Members can choose to join us in person or do the class at home.
What do you enjoy most about teaching martial arts?
JK: Getting to know the kids and watching them grow up. I love seeing the growth of all my students and having a positive impact on people’s lives.
Martial Arts Must-Haves
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