13-year-old local teen wins championship

Published 12:01 am Thursday, November 3, 2011

Allen Butler (left) won the black belt championship in kata. He is shown here with Mark Rudd. | Courtesy photo

After 15 appearances in the youth black belt grand championship, Andalusia Middle School seventh grader Allen Butler finally walked away a champion.

Butler, 13, won the black belt championship in the black belt weapons form called Urashi no kun in the second bo (staff or long stick) form that is taught in Isshinryu. The championship was held at the Albertville Open on Oct. 8.

The kata practice begins as soon as a student learns the basic exercises, usually about three months in a class, Butler’s Isshinryu instructor Mark Rudd said.

There are 14 different forms in the kata system, and students begin learning the simpler forms and progress to the more difficult to utilize Okinawan weaponry.

Butler said he credits the win to Mark Rudd, who has been his instructor for some seven years.

“It gives you a sense of accomplishment when you finally do something great,” Butler said about the win. “Mr. Rudd’s a great person, and he’s really the main reason why I won it with his teaching and patience with me.”

Rudd said everyone at the Isshinryu karate dojo in Andalusia is happy for his accomplishment.

“Allen is an outstanding student, has a great work ethic and attitude,” Rudd said. ” He sets a good example for the other kids to follow, and I look for his success in karate to continue.  “Winning a black belt grand championship is not an easy feat, and is something that a lot of good black belts never win,” he said. “We are very proud of his accomplishment.”

Butler has been training for this one event for four years, and said Rudd’s instruction has “rubbed” off on him in several ways.

“He’s taught me a lot of committment and perfection,” Butler said. “He’s a strong perfectionist and it’s rubbed off on me. I always try to do the best of my ability and so does he.”

Butler is the son of Dr. Rex and Billie Jo Butler of Andalusia.