Little fists and feet broke several boards last week as Glacier Ridge Elementary School's four-week martial arts program came to an end with its 18 students testing for belts.

Little fists and feet broke several boards last week as Glacier Ridge Elementary School's four-week martial arts program came to an end with its 18 students testing for belts.

The students, who had been meeting twice a week before school in 45-minute sessions, showed off their moves as Greg Fears called off punches, kicks and combinations.

Fears, who teaches martial arts at three Dublin elementary schools, works at Ernie Reyes' World Martial Art School in Carriage Place at the intersection of Bethel and Sawmill roads.

Students learn a myriad of physical skills from Fears, who also works on their mental conditioning. Students learn about respect, including answering questions with "yes sir" and "no sir." When Fears asks students what to say when mom or dad asks them to jump, the group replies, "How high?"

"I teach them life skills, to obey their parents, good citizenship, coordination, fundamentals," said Fears, who has been doing martial arts for 33 years and teaching it for 30.

The martial arts program at Glacier Ridge got its start at another Dublin school. PTO martial arts organizer Heather Heins said the program has been going on for a while at Deer Run Elementary. When Glacier Ridge was built, a few students who moved over from Deer Run requested the program, Heins said.

The program wasn't held at Glacier Ridge last year, but was back this year for two sessions.

"This is the second time here and now it's spreading to other schools," Heins said.

Glacier Ridge students received belts of all colors last week as the final session wrapped up with testing.

"There are different requirements at each level," Fears said. "The younger kids aren't asked to do certain things because of their age."

But each student broke a board with a foot or fist.

With broken boards and belts in hand, it was apparent that the students, in addition to every thing they had learned, also had gained confidence.

Kindergartener Andrew Heins, the youngest student in the class, held his broken board close and said, "I knew I could do it."