CWU News

CWU Student Helps Kids Get Lessons, Benefits of Martial Arts

Gonzalo Garcia started taking martial arts lessons as a way to get in shape for high school wrestling.

Today, the 2009 Eisenhower High graduate is the founder of Arsenal Jiu-jitsu, a nonprofit martial arts school that offers training to all Yakima County youths regardless of family income. He wants to make sure all kids get the same benefits of martial arts — and its life-empowering lessons — that he got in his youth.

“I relate to these kids,” Garcia said after an evening of lessons at Gardner Hall, where he moved the school in April, after first operating it at the Yakima Family YMCA. “It has always been my prayer to open up a gym and offer training for all the kids, regardless of ethnicity and income.”

Garcia, who is studying biomedical science at Central Washington University, has operated the school for three years. He and Carly Woolman, an English teacher at West Valley High School, teach the classes twice a week.

Read more of this story in the Yakima Herald Republic.