SYSK: Karate instructor teaches discipline, drive and confidence - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Karate instructor teaches discipline, drive and confidence

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PARKERSBURG (KWWL) -

Don't attend one of Karla Pashby Fuller's karate classes and expect to sit on the sidelines or remain quiet. You'll punch, kick and yell with authority.

Sensei Fuller is a 6th degree black belt - 10th degree is the highest. She first started taking karate in 1980 when she wanted to be a police officer. She took self-defense, liked it, and wanted to try karate. But at that time, she was told it was too rough for women.

"I said okay, I'm going to try it. I got hooked, and then I got my black belt in 1987, started my schools in 1993 and here I am," said Karla Pashby Fuller.

Here she is with schools in Allison, Ackley and Parkersburg.

Fuller teaches about 120 students, ranging in age from four to 88. Fuller goes to her oldest student at her senior living facility in Parkersburg.

"She very willingly comes up once a week, gives me a lesson and we do our hollering and our yelling and our punching and our banging. I just love it," said 88-year-old Babe Simon.

Heather Benson didn't plan on taking karate from Sensei Fuller, but when one daughter started and then the other, she couldn't resist either.

"I found myself helping and watching and it's a great physical exercise so I joined as well. We've been going about a year and a half now," said Heather Benson.

Benson said her daughters are more confident since taking classes.

"They have lots of fun, great friends, lots of physical activity and self defense is a very key portion of the class to help them in the event of an attack," said Benson.

Self-defense is something Sensei Fuller believes everyone should learn.

"Karate is not violent. The world is violent. We just have a way to protect ourselves against that violence," said Fuller.

She said karate isn't what you see on television. It's more than physical. It's also mental.

"Learning to discovery yourself mind, body and soul. It's very physical so therefore it makes you physically fit. Spiritually, internally, you build self esteem. you have focus, concentration, confidence," said Fuller.

Everyone who attends classes at Rising Sun Studios is part of a karate family, thanks to Karla Fuller.

"She's a wonderful teacher. She builds your confidence up, really," said student Babe Simon.

Confidence, drive and discipline during karate class and beyond.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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