• 50°

Karate students enjoy busy summer

On July 20, members of Andalusia Isshinryu Karate attended the annual USYKA Summer Camp at Guntersville State Park.

While at the camp, karate practitioners participated in a variety of clinics conducted by experienced instructors from Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee. Clinics included self-defense, tournament fighting, showmanship, martial arts weapons and chi power. Students were able to select three clinics to attend during the all-day event. After the clinics, there was a demonstration competition and breaking competition. Andalusia's youth demonstration team of Jamey Doulin, Gene Bass and Evan Soles took third place out of seven teams, in the demonstration competition, which was remarkable since they were competing against teams comprised mostly of adult black belts.

Following the demonstrations, several Andalusia students competed against nearly 100 other karate students, in the board breaking competition where they were required to execute "speed breaks," breaking multiple boards with several different hand and foot techniques in different directions. The board breaking competitors finished as follows:

Jamey Doulin, first place, green belt 8- and 9-year-olds;

Ashley Jones, second place, white and yellow belt, 14- to 17-year-olds;

Evan Soles, third place, green belt, 8- and 9-year-olds; and

April Jones, third place, adult brown belt.

On July 27, Andalusia students were treated to a self defense clinic by 7th-degree black belt and Master Instructor John Lloyd of Atlanta, Ga. at the USA Gym and Fitness Center in Andalusia. Lloyd taught a variety of fighting and self-defense techniques to students that will enhance their skills and knowledge of karate and self-defense. Lloyd has been an Isshinryu instructor for more than 35 years, having trained SWAT teams, the Arkansas State Police and other law-enforcement agencies in self defense, thousands of students, and several state and nationally ranked black belts. He was selected as a finalist for the International Isshinryu Hall of Fame's Sensei (teacher) of Sensei award in the year 2000.

He has taught karate in several different states, including Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Georgia, and presently serves as the Chairman of the Isshinryu Karate-do Association's black belt testing board. He is also the teacher of Mark Rudd, Andalusia Isshinryu's instructor.

Okinawan Isshinryu Karate is taught locally at the Andalusia Adult Activities Center and at the USA Gym and Fitness Center.