Karate instructor is grand champion
Published 11:59 pm Friday, May 11, 2012
Andalusia Isshinryu Karate instructor Mark Rudd just wanted to make a respectable showing last Saturday at the Gulf Coast Martial Arts Champion-ships in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Rudd won the grand championship in black belt weapons and black belt kata, and claimed third place in black belt fighting on his first day back in competition in two years.
He said he went to the championships because no other black belts from his class could go, and added that he wanted to promote the South Alabama Karate Open.
“None of our black belts were able to make the trip down due to other commitments, so I decided to compete — hoping to make a respectable showing,” Rudd said. “Our boys competed very strong – all four bringing home a first place finish – and the Black Belt Grand Championship was just an unexpected plus to an already good day.”
The tournament was held at the South Santa Rosa Recreation, and drew more than 10 martial arts schools from the Florida panhandle.
Competitors were members of a variety of styles of martial arts, including Taekwondo, Tang Soo Do, Shorinryu, Shotokan, American Karate and Isshinryu.
The Andalusia students placed as follows:
• Taj Patel — first place in green belt kata; and third place in green belt fighting
• Justin Pierce — third place in beginning kata; and first place in beginning fighting
• Matthew Faircloth — first place in green belt kata; and second place in green belt fighting
• Tyler Martin — second place in green belt kata; and first place in green belt fighting
• Mark Rudd — Adult black belt kata/weapons grand champion; and third place in black belt fighting
Andalusia’s Isshinryu karate class will host the 14th annual South Alabama Karate Open on June 9 at Straughn High School.