Highland County HS Principal Brings Martial Arts Expert To County

Monterey, Va – Highland County High School Principal Kelly Wilmore started a mixed martial arts club for students earlier this year that has been greeted with enthusiasm. The club will be meeting on Tuesday afternoons through the summer. Mr. Wilmore recruited David Henson, a member of the Virginia Military Institute campus security force, as the instructor. Before joining VMI, Mr. Henson was a police officer in Buena Vista for 6 years.

One of Mr. Henson’s specialties is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, originated by the Gracies, a Brazilian family that originally trained with a Japanese martial arts expert starting in the 1920’s. Since that time, through their martial arts academy they have taught many people their techniques and have participated very successfully in competitions around the world. For the younger students in the class, the goal is to teach them defensive and escape techniques.

The older students in the class are learning submission grappling. They progress through various stages of expertise marked by different colored belts just like judo and other martial arts and can participate in competitions to test their skills. Team Highland recently made a trip to Virginia Beach for a competition sanctioned by the North American Grappling Association. Team president Travis Hoyt placed second in his category, so the young team is off to a great start.

Any students interested in learning more about mixed martial arts are welcome to contact Mr. Wilmore at the high school.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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