Young Achiever: karate kids off to world cup
A team of youngsters will show their skills in an international martial arts tournament.
Eight students of a range of ages, including a six-year-old girl, will represent Bermuda in the 2019 World Cup Open Martial Arts Championship held near Washington.
Each fighter was chosen by the Bermuda Karate Organisation for their exceptional performances in past competitions.
Now they will travel with the organisation to compete in demonstrations and sparring matches against other martial artists from around the world.
Amarriah Vaughans was initially too young to train when she started learning karate.
Now aged 6, she will attend her second overseas tournament.
Andrea McKey, Amarriah’s grandmother and chaperon for the trip, said: “She was busy watching her brother and sister, and she wanted to do it, but we didn’t take four-year-olds.
“She ended up starting as a 4˝-year-old because she was watching them and was just constantly bugging us to start.”
Ms McKey said the Francis Patton Primary School pupil has “a lot of power” for someone her age.
She added: “She looks like a very shy and timid person but when she gets out there she shows that she’s fierce.”
Dominique Brown, 12, said that she studied karate for about eight years, and it had brought many benefits.
She explained: “It helps me with control and calms me down. Everything that’s been bothering me throughout the day just goes away when I do karate.”
The Dellwood Middle School pupil said that she has recommended karate to friends that she knew were struggling with their mood.
She explained: “They said it’s helped them to be calm and keep self control whenever they’re in classes or going through something.”
Jashae Allen-Lamontagne, 19, said that the kung fu she planned to showcase at the tournament was one of five fighting styles that she knew.
She also said that she always tried to make time to train despite attending Bermuda College and working at their library as a student assistant.
She added: “I think that the art is exciting, and I also like the challenge.”
Jashae added: “I enjoy the fellowship within the martial arts community and the togetherness.
“We’re all like a family — it doesn’t matter what school you go to.”
The team will compete in Washington on January 20.
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