Eau Claire’s Hope Gospel and Karate American form partnership to teach cardio kickboxing to their residents

Local News

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Kicking addiction to the curb is not an easy task but one resident at Hope Gospel Mission has found a way that makes it much easier. First News at Nine’s Sarah Winklemann shows us how one man is knocking out his addiction.

“Be energetic, hit something if they need to let out sadness,” said Luke Smith, the owner of Karate American in Eau Claire.

One man’s recovery journey has turned into hope for the future.

Cliff Strand, a karate student said, “It’s just something that I can’t replace, I can never replace that in my life.”

Cliff Strand has spent the last 15 months at Hope Gospel Mission working to overcome an alcohol addiction.

“It had taken everything from me, family, jobs, homes, investments and it was time to change my life,” said Strand.

On his way to healing, he started kicking, punching and punching a few more times.

Strand said, “It not only physically gives you an outlet but mentally it strengthens you.”

For the last 8 months cliff has been training at Karate American in Eau Claire.

Smith said, “Cliff just took off, it was amazing, he’s an incredible guy.”

Cliff knew he wasn’t alone and others at hope gospel mission could benefit this outlet.

Mike Moszer Head Kickboxing Blackbelt Instructor said, “It’s just a place for them to exhale to just let their hair down and be themselves and learn something new, learn a new skill.”

Hope Gospel and Karate American formed a partnership to teach cardio kickboxing to their residents.

Becky Schalinske renewal counselor at Hope Gospel Mission said, “It helps people become more empowered, helps them take a look at themselves in a different way.

And the guy in the gloves is kicking his way to sobriety by encouraging others to join in.

Strand said, “To physically get back into shape and to do the things I used to do, obviously I am not a kid anymore but to get back in and start kicking and punching and working with others and showing them the way.”

Cliff graduated from the hope gospel program last week and is excited to continue practicing and teaching martial arts in the future.

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