A taste of the pros: Martial Arts professional visits Destin

Savannah Chastain
Twenty-five students participated in a special three-hour seminar given by young martial arts professional, Mackensi Emory.

This past weekend students of Resolute Martial Arts and Family Fitness enjoyed a special treat. Young professional martial artist and instructor Mackensi Emory of California was on hand for a performance and meet-and-greet on Friday, and on Saturday she gave 25 lucky students a three-hour martial arts seminar.

“She’s the first in a series that we are doing, bringing in guest instructors to give seminars and further enhance our students and their skills,” said owner Hollie Hamm.

Seventeen-year-old Emory is becoming well known in the martial arts world where she has won 40 world championship titles in different martial arts venues, and is a forerunner in a new style of the sport called ‘tricking.’

“She is the weapons champion of her age group specializing in the Kamas weapon,” said Hamm. “It’s more or less like if you have Michael Jordan coming in and showing you how to do free throws. She’s basically the top female competitor in her age group right now.”

Hamm told The Log that Emory was not only an amazing athlete, but also a great instructor.

 “She is 17 but she is a seasoned instructor as well, and works really well with the kids,” said Hamm. “She actually flew in on Friday and performed at our end of summer party, signing autographs and taking photos with the kids.”

 On Saturday, the atmosphere was more focused as it was time to get down to business.

 “She taught them a lot of high-level acrobatic kicking, and weapon training,” said Hamm of Saturday’s three-hour seminar.

Ten-year-old Soulara Joslin is part of the leadership team for Resolute Martial Arts and participated in Emory’s seminar.

“I have worked with her once before and I think she is amazing,” said Joslin of Emory. “She’s a girl, just a few years older then me, and having her come down and teach me is just awesome.”

Joslin told The Log that she is about to compete in a tournament herself, and having Emory come was a great encouragement.

“She taught a trick called the butterfly kick. You go off the ground and it feels like you’re flying,” Joslin said. “She also helped me on my stage performance to help me get ready for my tournament. Emory is a great inspiration for me along with Mrs. Hamm and my mom.”

Nine-year-old Connor Roberts also took the seminar, and said his favorite part was learning the tricks.

“It was pretty cool, my favorite trick was the cheat 720,” he said. “Basically you step over a right leg front guard stance, and as soon as you lift your left knee off the ground you hop and do a 360 and you do a hook kick.”

Sound confusing? Roberts revealed the reason the cheat 720 is his favorite.

“It was one of the most challenging kicks,” he said.

Although this was the first seminar of its kind for Resolute, Hamm told The Log that the school already has another one lined up for October.  

“We will continue to do them every couple of months to take our students to the next level, so they get to train with some amazing people,” she said.