JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Master Michael Hurst teaches Tae Kwon Do classes every Monday and Wednesday night at the Emmett Reed Community Center on Jacksonville's Northside.
Hurst teaches the sport for free to underprivileged children from across Jacksonville.
The former Tae Kwon Do competition fighter, who won the world championship at the U.S. Open when he was 17-years-old, knows what kind of challenges the kids on the city's Northside face on a daily basis.
Hurst grew up in the First Street Apartments in what he describes as a poverty-stricken and drug-infested area.
It was in that neighborhood that Hurst says he was also bullied at the age of 11.
Tired of being bullied by the kids in his community, Hurst says he started Tae Kwon Do to learn how to defend himself.
Not only did Hurst learn how to depend himself but while learning the techniques of Tae Kwon Do Hurst says he gained confidence.
Hurst says Tae Kwon Do helped turn a juvenile into a professional, who is now using the sport to help youngsters who live in the community he grew up in turn their lives around.
Master Michael Hurst is our "Hero Next Door".
If you would like for your son or daughter to join the Tae Kwon Do Classes at Emmett Reed Community Center the classes are free.
The classes are from 5-6:30 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday.