RALEIGH — Sidekick Karate Black Belt School of Discipline students recently earned state honors in the AAU Karate N.C. District State Championship in Raleigh.
The group, ranging in age from two to 15, brought home nine gold and two silver medals to qualify the Mount Airy school for the SuperRegional Championship and national qualifier in Charlotte on May 10.
“I was very happy with how well they did. They all were excellent in competition,” said Sensei Emad Ely. “These kids were young. They didn’t make mistakes. They had to go out there with a thousand people watching, and I was amazed. Most teachers in karate typically do not have students aged 3-5 years because they want students with longer attention spans.”
Aly said all of the students participate in Kata (performing stylized fighting movements correctly) with students ages 3-4 not participating in Kumite (sparring) due to tournament regulations. He said the school continues to build on its successes and looks to have more than 25 traveling to the Charlotte event and others participating in the Karate Nationals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in July.
“Without the parents supporting us we couldn’t do anything. I am so grateful to them,” Aly said.
He explained the dojo’s system of teaching focuses on discipline with students learning the importance of education, helping others and becoming good citizens. He said students will be offered a chance for free movies at Creekside Cinema to honor their work. The dojo also has received an invitation from the Winston-Salem Dash to do a karate demonstration at one of the games and be recognized on the jumbo screen.
Students earning gold medals in the tournament are Hudson Collins (under 6 years division); Jackson Eli Dunning (under five years); Lawson Almond (under four); Raiden Kiger (under three); Jackson Smith (under seven); Estefano Frausto (Under 5, beginner); Brandon Knighton (under 15); Caleb Gerber (under 16) and John Juno (under nine).
Gerber, who was captured a National Championship last year, also earned a silver medal in the under-16 division and Knighton also took home silver in the under-15 division. Avery Brintle and Ryan Swenson also competed in the tournament.