EXETER – Imagine a bunch of karate students splitting wood and you probably envision their hands, feet or even their heads splintering several planks of finely milled pine as they let out a guttural scream. Well, not the students at Karate International Martial Arts in Exeter. Instead of body parts, they’re using - get this - an axe. If that’s not crazy enough they want to come over and split your fire wood, for free. Why? “It’s an old school workout,” said John English head instructor and owner of Karate International Martial Arts. “We’re always looking for ways to develop practical strength and increase our cardio fitness. When you’re splitting wood and you’re swinging the axe correctly, your body moves the same way it does when you throw a right cross, especially in your hips and core.” Mr. English had his students swinging mallets into large truck tires in the back of the karate school on 41 Industrial Drive in Exeter to simulate the workout they would get chopping wood. “Some of the students and I started joking that we should just go to people’s houses and split wood for them,” English explains, “then we thought, why not?” That’s how he came up with the idea to split wood for people who could use the help. “A lot of people save money in the winter by splitting their own wood,” explains English, “but not everyone is able to split their own wood. If we can help them and save them money while getting in our workout - why not? Some people are having us come over and split wood that they are donating to a family in need. That’s perfect! It may be someone who’s elderly. As long as they bring us lemonade and keep us hydrated we’ll split their wood.” Just be warned that the karate students will get their work out in. Along with splitting wood they stack wood at lighting speed, work on their grip by holding heavy logs for a set time, run logs to far locations and do other traditional training drills. They even use a timer to time their sets with Mr. English barking instructions and encouragement the whole time. They work hard and have a great time doing it. If you could use Karate International Martial Arts’ wood splitting/workout service or know someone who can, call John English at 603-778-8475 and schedule a time. If you’re interested in becoming a student and participating call him to set up a time and tour the facility.

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