Local karate students excel at regional event

first_img Local karate students excel at regional event Students trained at Tiger Schulmann’s Karate Center in Middletown had a chance to show their skills recently, and they didn’t disappoint. Several students walked away with medals after competing at the Challenge of Champions event on June 10 and 11 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus. The challenge brought together more than 5,000 martial arts students of all ages to participate in a severe test of expertise before a sold-out crowd. The students’ instructor, Sensei Jason Hoffman, said that by being involved in the event, the students are forced to concentrate on using their skills to the best of their ability. “The purpose of the Challenge of Champions is to encourage our students to utilize their skills to the maximum, providing a more demanding situation than everyday karate classes,” he said. “Our students are able to observe and interact with other styles of martial arts while building confidence and ability.” The areas of competition include wood breaking, kata, kumite and full contact karate. During the wood-breaking competition, more than 500 students competed while spectators observed other events going on simultaneously. Of the Tiger Schulmann students who participated, Kristofer Basmagy took third place in the 7 and under intermediate division, Dexter Perez took third in the 12-14 boys’ intermediate division, and Nach Restrepo took second in the men’s advanced middleweight division. More than 700 students participated in the kata competition, which tests the students’ abilities, and preciseness of martial arts forms. Winners from Tiger Schulmann included Tina Agnelo, third place, women’s black belt division; Denise Cerbone, fifth place, women’s black belt division; Courtney Butch, third place, 10-12 girls’ black belt division; Jen Butch, fourth place, 13-14 black belt division; Kevin Grewen, fourth place, 13-14 green and red division; Peter Hetzler, second place, 7 and under green division; Laura Occhipinti, sixth place, 10-12 girls’ red division; Jack Viverito, first place, 15-17 blue and yellow division; and Emily Watson, fifth place, 15-17 black belt division. More than 900 students competed in the fast-paced kumite competition, which includes freestyle sparring. Winners from Tiger Schulmann included Tom McGrath, first place, senior men’s intermediate heavyweight division; Scott Cardelfe, third place, senior men’s intermediate heavyweight division; and Nach Restrepo, third place, senior men’s intermediate middleweight division. The Challenge of Champions was introduced in 1996 and has quickly become the largest tournament of its kind in the area with well over 1,500 competitors. The next event is scheduled for December at the Meadowlands, and the students of Tiger Schulmann’s Karate Center are already gearing up for it. By Doug mckenzie last_img

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