Sewell, N.J. - A 12-year-old girl wrote an inspirational letter about her martial arts coach.
It’s high energy and a lot of sweat. These kids leave Underground Martial Arts and Fitness in Sewell, New Jersey feeling invincible.
"This place is like a good vibes place," said 12-year-old Kirsten Bradford who says the class is about more than cool kicks and punches.
"People come here just to watch classes to feel motivated.” And she says it's all because of Coach Mark Moore who she wrote about to FOX 29 “suggesting a story idea about karate coach Mark who is changing so many lives."
"There's a lot of self-discipline that he teaches us that makes us better people," she said. Kirsten met Coach Mark four years ago when he spoke at her school about building character, respect, trying your best and having fun.
"Ever since I've been here my self-confidence has been over the roof and I've been doing better academically," she said. We got a glimpse of what Kirsten is talking about when we dropped in on class this evening.
"When the challenge gets tougher say to yourself I got this. All day baby. Say it with me. Every day in every way I get better and better," said Coach Mark to the kids. What makes him somewhat of a rock star to these kids?
"It starts when I was 13. I was bullied and couldn't play any sports. I was the slowest learner in class, last one picked, skinny kid, glasses, pimples and braces. You name it." He says martial arts gave him an outlet and now he's passing that on to kids.
"I tell the kids guys I'm not a champion in martial arts. I've actually never won a world title. I'm not a rock star athlete but I will tell you I'm a champion in life. I've got great friendships, I help other people and I get a chance to give back," he said. Kirsten says that's the reason she's proud to call him her mentor.
"Everyone needs a good person in their life that they look up to and feel great about. That is the person he is," she said.