Longtime karate teacher in Decatur passes away

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DECATUR, Ala. – This weekend, people around North Alabama will pay tribute to Jim Webster. He opened a karate studio in Decatur over 40 years ago and has taught thousands of kids over the years.

Webster’s son who’s keeping his dad’s legacy alive. As Jamie Webster leads the pack, every punch includes an ideal. “They’re learning about stretching, balance, muscle control, flexibility, and patience,” Jamie said.

At his studio in Decatur, Webster is carrying on what his dad started. “He got his black belt in 1973, I was only 3 years old,” Jamie said.

Jim passed away last week. His picture and his life principles still hang on the wall of the studio he started over 40 years ago. The same place where boys and girls come every week to learn karate.

“He always taught us that givers gain. There are givers and takers. Takers might eat better but givers sleep better,” Jamie said.

These kids should sleep well after one session at Webster’s Karate. From kicks, sparring and practicing escapes, the classes are a workout for the body and the mind.

“I try to teach a lot like he taught. So I feel like even when I teach, it’s like him teaching through me sometimes,” Jamie said.

Even as he catches himself echoing many of the same phrases his dad used to say. Webster says his dad’s memory is very much alive in this class and as his family prepares to lay Jim to rest this weekend.

“I hope that wherever he is, he can look down and smile that we’re honoring him the right way,” Jamie said.

The memorial service for Jim will happen Sunday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. at the Princess Theater in Decatur.

Jamie says in lieu of flowers, people are asked to give to the Jimmy Yellowhorse Scholarship Fund at Redstone Federal Credit Union.

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