New karate studio can teach you how to defend yourself — Chuck Norris-style

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Mountain State Martial Arts and Fitness studio owner Megan Linger

BUCKHANNON – What does the opening of Mountain State Martial Arts and Fitness signify?

It’s simple – it means teaching the Chuck Norris System of martial arts has found its home on Main Street.

Buckhannon’s newest karate studio is owned and run by master Megan Linger, who has a fifth-degree blackbelt in the Chuck Norris System and the rank of Master Instructor.

Mountain State Martial Arts and Fitness is located at Body Armor MMA beside Sprint at the corner of East Main and South Florida streets in Buckhannon.

Linger said she has been studying of martial arts since she was six years old.

“I was really bad at all other sports and my parents wanted to put me in something that suited me,” Linger said. “They wanted me to be active, and I was also homeschooled, so they wanted me to socialize with other kids and ballet didn’t work, baseball didn’t work, soccer didn’t work, so they put me in martial arts, and it clicked.”

When Linger first got her start, she would train four days a week and when she turned nine years old she discovered the Chuck Norris systems and started training five days a week.

Norris – now age 78 – famously developed his own school of fighting, Chunk Kuk Do, or the Chuck Norris System.

“I fell in love with the Chuck Norris System because they really look at how a lot of the traditional forms [of martial arts] can be used in practical applications,” Linger said. “So instead of just doing a form and saying, ‘well, that’s how it’s done,’ we really look at how the form can be used in a combat situation.”

She said the Chuck Norris System also incorporates multiple kinds of martial arts such as Jiu Jitsu and Krav Maga, which is Israeli street fighting.

Linger said before she moved to West Virginia she had another studio in Virginia, which she still manages.

“This has been my life,” Linger said. “I got a degree in psychology to apply that to martial arts because I work with kids with special needs in martial arts. So, I work with a lot of kids with ADHD, anxiety, a lot of kids with Asperger’s, and I have an individual with down syndrome at my other studio who’s going up for a black belt soon.

“Anything I can do for kids in my studio – that’s my dream and my passion,” she added.

Linger offers different types of classes at her studio, such as the main program: the Chuck Norris System – a traditional form of martial arts that incorporates sparring. She offers a women’s self-defense class that is Krav Maga-based.

“It’s mostly if someone grabs you, how do you escape? If you’re putting groceries in your car and someone grabs you, what do you do from there? If you’re attacked while you and your kid are walking down the street, how do you protect yourself and your child?” Linger said. “That’s what I look for in the women’s self-defense.”

She said she offers a more intense Krav Maga class for people 16 and older where they do a lot of endurance training and self-defense.

“I like a family environment, I like to know everybody, and I want everyone to know me and feel comfortable,” Linger said. “I just want to have a place where people can let loose and feel comfortable.

Mountain State Martial Arts and Fitness is currently offering classes on Thursdays and Fridays for ages 2 ½ through 4 at 4:30 p.m., for ages 5-8 at 4:45 p.m., for ages 9 through 12 at 5:45 p.m. and for ages 13 and up at 6:45 p.m.

A self-defense class is offered on these days from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. On Saturdays, a women’s self-defense class is offered from 8 to 9:15 a.m., an adult class is available from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. and kids ages 4-12 are welcome from 10:15 to 11 a.m.

For more information, contact Linger at 540-256-8446 or find her on Facebook by searching for “Mountain State Martial Arts and Fitness.”