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Highlands Ranch

Kids aim to take next step in martial arts

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About 250 kids wearing crisp white robes gathered at a Highlands Ranch park on June 29 to demonstrate their martial arts skills.

Students of ATA Karate Denver, a martial arts school with locations in Highlands Ranch and Lone Tree, met at Civic Green Park, 9370 S. Ridgeline Blvd., for belt testing. With family members and a panel of judges watching, participants chanted and showed their kicks and swings in hopes of progressing a level in the sport. There are numerous belts in martial arts — white signifying a beginner and black a master.

Testing outdoors challenges students’ focus, according to Jason Strong, founder and owner of ATA Karate Denver.

“We all have distractions in life, which we learn to tune out as we push to excel,” Strong said. “Testing outside the studio where students have practiced day in and day out reminds our students that the mental practice of self-discipline is also very important.”

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