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Martial artist sets good example for kids

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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A role model for the children's sake

She's tiny, She's mighty, She's driven, She's a champ,

Cottonwood's Lynda Christopher just keeps going. She has won more than 40 world and several state and national titles in power weight lifting, Now she is moving on to add martial arts titles to her credit,

On Jan, 24, at Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, Christopher won four Arizona state titles in martial arts, She entered four events: musical forms, regular forms, weapons and movement and sparring. She competed with men and women ages 14 to 18 and older, depending on the event, In fact, she is old enough to be the mother of many of her opponents, she said jokingly,

"It's challenging for me to stay really flexible, Some of the kids are more flexible, and they can do more flips than I can, but I keep a very positive attitude at all times and do my best," Christopher said.

Apparently Christopher does accomplish her goal. The competition was by invitation only, Only those ranked in the top eight in each category were invited to compete, she said.

Christopher qualified for all four of the events she entered in the advanced category.

"I won all four events. I'm still in shock. It's kind of unheard of," she said. "Before I went, I thought I'd be happy to come back with one award, then Master [Jim] Ginter gave me a pep talk,"

Christopher trains with Ginter, a fifth-degree black belt, about one hour three times a week at Maximum Martial Arts in Sedona.

"I practice every day for about two hours. Then I go to lift weights at Snap Fitness in Cottonwood," she said.

Christopher started in the martial arts about eight years ago, practicing in tae kwon do, kiekboxing. grappling and aikido. She is involved because of children, She wants to be a positive role model for them.

"I want kids to realize they can do things they thought they could never do, A few years ago, if you told me I'd be breaking boards with my hands and feet, 1 wouldn't have believed it. Today, I break boards with my hands and feet, I feel like I can do anything if I set my mind to it," Christopher said.

The martial arts, when taught correctly, help teach students confidence, respect, honesty and how to serve the community, she said.

Christopher has another advantage, she thinks.

"Being an older competitor, it gives me some experience that helps me work with children," she said.

Right now, Christopher is in the red belt category and is working on her black belt. Outside martial arts, weight lifting and competing, she sings with the Verde Valley Voices, is an ambassador for the Arizona State MedicAlert, a director for Arizona State Amateur Athletic Union Powerlifting, loves to garden, read and enjoys her cat. "I just hope I can have a positive influence on kids," she said.

Copyright 2009 The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: February 4, 2009

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