Butler family sees success in karate

Published 11:59 pm Friday, March 20, 2009

Karate has become a major part of the Butler family of Andalusia.

Dr. Rex Butler, his son, Allen, and daughter, Rexanne, have been students under Mark Rudd at Andalusia Isshinryu Karate for a combined 14 years.

In 2008, the Butlers raked in awards from 11 tournaments, placing in 88 divisions, including 21 first place finishes at sites such as Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and Alabama.

Dr. Butler said both Allen and Rexanne play other sports, but with karate, it’s a little different.

“The children play in all different kinds of sports, but this is one that we enjoy as a family,” Dr. Butler said. “Allen plays baseball, soccer and basketball. Rexanne plays softball, soccer and dances.”

In 2008, awards for the Butlers included, but were not limited to:

Finalist Isshinryu Hall of Fame Male Competitor of the Year

USYKA Adult Green Belt National Champion

USYKA 200 point club

IHOF junior male competitor of the year

2008 NASKA 10-11 year old Black Belt Fighting Champion

IHOF junior female competitor of the year.

As to why the family does karate, Dr. Butler said it helps with exercise and character.

“We do karate because it’s something we can do as a family and it’s great exercise,” he said. “It’s just been a very maturing character building experience. We travel together as a family (to karate tournaments) and we bond together as a family now.”

Allen had been under the direction of Rudd for five years and Dr. Butler has been under Rudd for three.

“We think Mr. Rudd is a great role model for the children and is well respected throughout Isshinryu (karate),” Dr. Butler said.

Allen is a junior black belt under 16; Dr. Butler is a first-degree brown belt and Rexanne is a second-degree brown belt.

Dr. Butler is married to Billie Jo, of Andalusia.

The Butlers are currently participating in the 2009 competition year.