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Enthusiasm Fuels New Sharon Martial Arts Academy

Owner Derek Field loved doing ninja moves as a kid.

As a kid, Derek Field marveled at Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello.

"I used to love doing the ninja moves," Field says.

As an adult, Field recently opened the Field Martial Arts Academy on Merchant Street, off Route 1.

His kids' classes seek to build off modern youngsters' enthusiasm for the fighting skills they see on TV and in film -- much like he thought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the Power Rangers, were cool.

"My goal is to train students to be a champion in life. Character development, especially with the kids program, is a big part of it," says Field, who offers both youth and adult programs.

"I want them to have fun just like when I was a kid doing ninja moves in my back yard. I see all these kids come in, and they think they're a Power Ranger already.

"Using the moves as a fun tool -- every kid loves to kick and punch -- through that, that's how we develop the respect, the discipline, the focus, control."

Field opened his Sharon academy after about 10 years at the Boston Taekwondo Academy in Randolph, where he trained for about 13 years. He was the school's program director for about six years.

Field says he has 28 students: seven youths and 21 adults.

The youth program focuses on character and skill development. The adult program focuses on fitness and self-defense. Kickboxing is his biggest program, he says.

He says his older cousin had been taking lessons, and suggested he try, too.

"At school, I had a little bit of a bully incident. After that, I wanted to do martial arts," Field says.

Now,"black belt respect" is the first lesson he teaches.

Students are "held to a different level where, no matter if you're in uniform or not, you want to treat other people as if they're important, just as you want to be treated. It's not for beating people up. Hopefully, they never have to use anything I teach them," Field says.

Field says he also teaches "the law of familiarity."

"You get a new pair of sneakers, or a jacket, and you treat it nice and neat. And then after a while, its laying on the floor, dirty," he says.

"We relate it to your parents. Some kids treat their friends' parents better than they treat their own parents, because they're around their parents all the time."

Field says his youth program students also must complete a "star form", "which is like a progress report, where they have to do things" such as "they have to keep their room clean" to advance to the next belt.

"A student could be the second coming of Bruce Lee. But if he's a brat at home or school, or a bully, then that belt's not going to happen," Field says.

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