12/11/2013 10:28:00 AM Karate students take AZ State Championships by storm
ShinPu Ren Karate students and their state placings are, from bottom left: Cosmo Morris Kumite 2nd; Zach Sanchez Kata 3rd, Kumite 3; Reyanna Hood Kumite 1st, Kata 2nd;Dani Hamilton, Weapons 3rd, Kata 3rd, Kumite 4th; Ivan Maldonado Kumite 2nd, Kata 3rd; Sensei Lori Morris; Jake Duchesne Weapons 1st, Kata 2nd, Kumite 2nd; Chelsea Stewart Kumite 1st, Kata 2nd; Sensei Alex Morris Weapons 1st, Kata 1st, Kumite 1st, Grand Champion Kata, Grand Champion Kumite; Mackenzie Donovan Kumite 3rd; Morgan Lee Kumite 1st, Kata 4th; Robert Hood Kata 1st, Kumite 1st, Youth Grand Champion Kata; Dylan Donovan Weapons 1st, Kata 3rd, Kumite 2nd; Mason Preston Kata 2nd; Top Center: Cheyenne Pehl Kata 4th; Makenzee Morris Kumite 3rd; Conner Nagle Kumite 2nd. Not Pictured: Tye Garcia Kumite 1st.
Special to the Tribune
This year ShinPu-Ren Family Karate school students brought home three of the coveted Grand Champion trophies from the USKA sanctioned Arizona State Championships in Phoenix.
Grand Champion is awarded to the person who defeats all other first place winners of four select groups. Shihan Alex defeated all Black Belt Divisions in both Kata (forms) and Kumite (point sparring) earning two Grand Champion titles.
New to competition, beginner Robert Hood won the Youth Kata Grand Champion. The team's total for this year's State Championships was 28 top three placings, with 11 first place, 9 second, 8 thirds, 2 fourths and 3 Grand Champions.
Four first-time competitors attended. The youngest was 5-year-old Conner Nagle, who brought home a second place in Kumite. Two competitors who are Yavapai College students placed in the top three.
Everyone who attended State has qualified to compete at Nationals this March in Las Vegas.
Tournament Karate is a healthy way for students to fine tune their skills, to see where they stand in comparison to other karateka, and to learn to accept winning and defeat with equal grace. Many of the State divisions this year had more than 20 competitors.