Sandy, UT (PressExposure) June 20, 2013 -- "The Zombie Apocalypse is coming!" - this phrase was heard over and over again by the students of Personal Mastery Martial Arts as the martial arts school prepared for their first ever Zombie Apocalypse event. On Monday June 17, martial arts students geared up and became Zombie hunters to wipe out the Zombie horde that had invaded their martial arts school. They arrived heavily armed with Nerf guns and foam pool noodles to defeat the Zombie invasion.
The night began by splitting the Zombie hunters into three different groups. As groups, the Zombie hunters went through Zombie hunter training which included practicing with water balloon "grenades" outside. Inside, other groups went through martial arts Zombie hunter training as well.
With their Zombie hunter training complete, the Zombie hunter groups began to hunt down the Zombies. Different rooms were set up for different age groups. The younger Zombie hunter room was a little less apocalyptic and was run by Tyra Ayres, Mark Szczepanski, and Suzy Davie (some martial arts students). The young Zombie hunters played games like Freeze Dance, where they had to be completely still so the Zombies would not find them, and got to practice their Zombie hunting techniques on BOB the dummy.
The older Zombie hunters were given glow-sticks that they stuck in their belts and went to a different room where they had to hunt down the Zombies. As soon as all of their glow-sticks were gone, they were "dead." The Zombie hunters had a blast defeating the Zombie horde with their foam noodles and Nerf guns, and many of them "survived" the Zombie attacks.
The event was run with the help of several black belt students. One black belt student, Kim McGowan-Jackson, was responsible for all of the Zombie decorations that filled the school for a whole week before the event, creating a spooky atmosphere. Kim, who loves to decorate for Halloween and other events at Personal Mastery Martial Arts said, "I enjoy transforming a place into something that inspires the imagination to think you are in a different place. Decorating for the apocalypse was so much fun. I wanted to create a zombie like atmosphere that allowed the kids to have a fun and exciting time."
Several others students also played a big role in running the event. Tyra Ayres and Amy Hill helped to transform several of the black belt students into Zombies to create the Zombie horde. Tyra said, "I created the 'newly dead,' with skin starting to mottle and showing signs of decay, and eye sockets darkening. New zombies can be mistaken for living humans and therefore might be more dangerous. Amy's zombies were true zombies and their hunger for brains and level of decay was unmistakable."
The Zombies were all played by black belt students, who found that they had fun even playing as the bad guys. One "Zombie," Dale Hughes, jokingly posted on Facebook, "I acquired quite a taste for children's brains. Who knew? Oh wait... did I type that out loud?"
Another "Zombie," Mike Sigler, said, "I had a lot of fun and would very much like to do this again. I think that it brought the Personal Mastery Martial Arts family closer."
The Zombie hunters emerged victorious. They successfully defeated the Zombie invasion and had a blast at the same time. After the event, many of the students and their families posted in the school's Facebook group with comments like "Now there has to be a return of the Zombies" and "My son loved beating up the Zombies." Every Zombie hunter, big and small, loved this event where they got to battle it out with the Zombie horde.