• 64°
Hartselle Enquirer

Local karate instructor Donnie Chappell receives special honor

By Staff
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
In a state where karate is not exactly the most popular after-school activity, Donnie Chappell has established a nice little niche in Hartselle.
Chappell owns and operates Chappell's Family Karate, a full-time karate school that instructs students of all ages and genders. Chappell runs the school with several members of his family. He has taught martial arts for 12 and a half years.
Even with his teaching schedule, Chappell has continued to improve in his own karate mastery, and on Sept. 16 was rewarded with a special honor. He received the rank of Renshi sho, a special rank bestowed upon a sensei (the Japanese word for "teacher") who shows exceptional expertise at teaching karate.
Professor William Rawls, who continues to instruct Chappell and who occasionally teaches at Chappell's Family Karate, bestowed the honor.
"Renshi sho is a master instructor rank, and it's usually granted to people who have been in martial arts for a long period of time," Chappell explained. "Not everybody would be eligible. It's more or less a recognition of teacher status. It's typically between fourth to sixth-degree black belt you're eligible to receive that. I'm a fourth degree now."
Chappell has been learning karate since 1982, and has been teaching at Chappell's Family Karate for eight years after four and a half years at other schools. He currently has about 150 students in his school, including seven of his own children.
"I think it was more because I was really shy, and didn't fit in well in group activities – sports and things," Chappell said as the reason he first started learning martial arts.
"I found that karate was something I could do on my own.
"We teach martial arts as a way of self-improvement, a way of learning self-discipline or respect. How to treat other people, how to develop focus, and also for physical fitness and stress relief.
"There is a self defense aspect to karate as well; it can help a person with their confidence."
Chappell's Family Karate also features a uniquely Christian environment in addition to the Oriental aspects of martial arts.
Students have the opportunity to participate in Bible trivia contests as well as conventional sparring matches. This unique Christian-Far Eastern combination is summed up in the school's slogan, "Great family fun and time in a Christian environment."
Chappell's Family Karate is located next to Fred's Discount in the Morgan Plaza Shopping Center on Highway 31, and is mainly active during the evenings while school is in session.
During the summer additional summer classes are held. For more information, call 751-3325 or visit the school's Web site at www.chappellsfamilykarate.com.

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Annual Christmas parade to be held Thursday  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Some concerned over new Hartselle superintendent hire  

At a Glance

Town of Falkville to hold Christmas in the Park Sunday

At a Glance

Hartselle Holiday Market returns Saturday

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Old Hartselle post office to become event center, new home for chamber  

At a Glance

‘Have a Hart’ information session to be held Dec. 2

Morgan County

Future leader

News

Alabama DHR accepting applications for next round of child care bonuses 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Spirit of Thanksgiving: Volunteers deliver 266 food bags on holiday for Meals on Wheels  

At a Glance

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office to let citizens behind the scenes with academy  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Winter window wonderland  

At a Glance

Council to interview candidates for Parks and Rec director job  

Hartselle

Live nativity scene returns to First Christian Dec. 7-10

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Local church prepares 400 Thanksgiving meals

News

HIS students help clean up effort at Mt. Tabor Cemetery 

News

Lovely landscape

News

Morgan buys SUVs to transport seniors, deliver meals

News

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office to let citizens behind the scenes with academy  

News

Morgan teen exhibits grand champion at Alabama National Fair

News

Murder-for-hire defendant seeks bond

MULTIMEDIA-FRONT PAGE

Stadthagen supports

News

SALUTE

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Second grade students in Hartselle honor heroes

News

Alabama DHR accepting applications for next round of child care bonuses 

x