If it?s Monday night, chances are you?ll find Mervin Lare at the Hillsboro Elementary School gym.
Lare, who is employed as an engineer at the Kansas Department of Transportation office in Marion, has taught a martial arts class since April in addition to his day job.
?I?ve found that I really enjoy teaching martial arts to people,? Lare said. ?If I have 20 students I?ll teach. If I?ve got no students, I?ll still be there.
?I may not be teaching anybody, but I?ll be practicing on my own, so I?ll always be there Mondays,? he added.
Ko Hai Lare teaches martial arts classes through the Hillsboro Recreation Commission and the Honorable Tiger School of Martial Arts.
He currently instructs a class of four students that meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m. Classes generally do not exceed two hours.
Lare teaches a combination of systems, including Goshin-Co karate and Goshin karate.
?The Goshin-Co, that is taught from (ages) 8 to 14,? he said. ?Then, once they get to be 14, I teach them the Goshin karate.?
After completing the Goshin, Lare can begin teaching Gung Fu, he said.
?The Goshin teaches you the basics: the good stances, good strikes, good blocks,? he said. ?When you get into the Gung Fu, it?s very fluid.
?When you get really good, it?s almost dance-like watching the other black belts do their thing. That?s cool stuff.?
Goshin-Co involves nine levels, beginning with a white belt. At first, instruction is knowledge-based, Lare said, and involves basic stances, strikes, blocks and martial arts form.
?Once they perfect that form, then I test them on how well they do the form and their knowledge of the names of the strikes?where the strikes are supposed to connect, and the same with blocks,? he said. ?If they perform well, then I pass them (to the next level).?
Lare said he has had one student already progress from a white belt to a yellow belt.
A 2003 graduate of Phillips?burg High School, Lare began his martial arts training in 2006 while working toward his engineering degree at Kansas State University in Manhattan.
?I have a brown belt and the Gung Fu and the Goshin,? he said. ?I think it took me five years to get my brown belt and the Gung Fu, and then they added the Goshin, so then I had to work on getting my Goshin brown belt.?
Upon reaching that level, he was approved to teach under supervision.
?I keep in contact with my instructor on a regular basis,? he said.
Lare taught in Manhattan for a year and a half, he said, before moving to Hillsboro and starting a class.
Lare said he intends to continue the class throughout the school year.
The class costs $40 per month and is available for students 8 years old to adult.
Lare is currently taking new students at the beginning of each month. He offers one free class for anyone interested in signing up, he said.
Available classes include the following: Goshin Jutsu Karate, Self Defense Training, Lao Hu Pa?i Gung Fu, Aiki Jutsu Karate and Judo Techniques.
For more information, or an entry form, visit www.cityofhillsboro.net/hrc/ or contact Lare at 785-587-7823.
Lare listed the benefits of the class as learning discipline and self-defense.
?(It?s) just something different,? Lare said. ?You have the normal sports, but this gives kind of a new flair.?