Operating two schools in central North Carolina, South Eastern Karate Association teaches Korean martial arts to adults and children, men and women, in Siler City and Liberty. Students range from 5-year-old white belts (beginners) to high-ranking black belts of retirement age.
The Siler City school opened as a branch of Master Yu's Taekwondo school in Greensboro in 1982. The school became South Eastern Karate in 1996, reflecting the leadership role that Master Jolly had assumed, with the encouragement of Master Yu. The Liberty branch of South Eastern Karate opened its doors in 1997.
South Eastern Karate teaches self-defense using the Moo Duk Kwan system of empty-handed martial arts. Instruction emphasizes confidence, physical fitness and self-discipline. The school is directed by Master Peggy Petty Jolly, a 7th-degree black belt (7th Dan), who believes students should always come to training with an open mind and work as hard as they can.
Master Mark Ellington, a 6th-degree black belt, became Head Instructor of the Main School in 2016. He then became a Master Instructor in 2017 and continues the teaching and tradition learned under Master Jolly.
Students train for different reasons — exercise, self-defense, confidence and even fellowship. But, no matter what their reasons for training, all are equal in class. All dress alike. All struggle physically. All make mistakes. And all help each other improve.
To make training available to as many as possible, membership fees are kept low, compared to many other schools, and the school works with families to accommodate special circumstances. On occasion, children may be sponsored by the school.
Advancing in the Ranks
Promotion examinations are generally held four times each year — often in March, June, September and December — at the school in Siler City.
Since its inception, more than 150 black belts have been awarded by Master Jolly and the South Eastern Karate Association. Over the years, students have included a member of the North Carolina General Assembly, a college strength and conditioning coach, dozens of law enforcement personnel and the leader of a local economic development agency.
About the Siler City School
Located in the heart of downtown, the Siler City school has served as headquarters for South Eastern Karate Association since opening as a branch of Young Yu Tae Kwon Do in 1982. With the blessing of Master Young Taek Yu, the school became independent in 1996 and was renamed South Eastern Karate.
Classes are held every Tuesday and Thursday evening — with a class primarily for children and teens from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and another primarily for adults from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Members of the association may attend any class offered at either school.
About the Liberty School
Located on the third floor of 114 W Swannanoa Avenue in downtown Liberty, the Liberty school has been serving the Randolph County community since 1997.
Classes are held every Monday and Thursday evening — with a class primarily for children and teens from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Members of the association may attend any class offered at either school.