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Martial arts studio now open at St. Lawrence Centre

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MASSENA — Some people go the mall to eat, others go to the mall to shop or hang out, but since early last month approximately a dozen people have been going to the mall to learn jujitsu.

Elam Fontenot, a third-degree black belt in jujitsu, offers lessons for children and adults at St. Lawrence Centre on Monday and Friday evenings.

Mr. Fontenot said children classes at KKJ Martial Arts are designed for those ages 5-14, while adult classes are geared for those 14 and older.

“We’re like a team in here,” he said, adding children’s classes are a little more strict.

“We’re very strong on discipline,” he said, referring to the children’s sessions.

The adult classes, he said are a little more laid back.

“It’s designed to be really fun for the adults,” he said.

While Mr. Fontenot has been offering classes since the beginning of last month, he said new students are welcome to join at any time.

“We’re a year-round operation, and people can join at any time,” he said, adding the style of jujitsu taught at KKJ Martial Arts is a style that he created himself.

“I created it for the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana,” said Mr. Fontenot, who is Native American himself.

In fact the name, Koasti Kaski, translates in that tribe’s language to “Coushatta Warrior.”

“This style has many techniques from different styles I’ve trained in,” he said, adding Koasti Kaski jujitsu implements portions of karate, taekwondo, akito, ninjitsu, jeet kune do and wrestling.

“The big thing today is Brazilian jujitsu like you see on UFC. There’s a lot of grappling but not a lot of stand-up combat,” he said, adding his form of jujitsu, which has been internationally recognized since 2007, focuses more on stand up combat.

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