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Taj Patel picks up big honors

Andalusia Isshinryu Karate student Taj Patel picked up big honors recently at the 38th Annual Isshinryu Hall of Fame Banquet and tournament in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

After much hard work put into the year, Patel was named the 2017 IHOF Young Male Karate-ka of the Year.

“This is a great accomplishment for Taj,” Andalusiah Isshinryu instructor Mark Rudd said. “This is recognition of outstanding achievement inside and outside of the dojo, considering not only accomplishments in karate, but criteria like scholastic achievement and community service.”

Patel has been a finalist for the award several times in the past, but this is the first time winning the award. The award came down to Patel and other competitors from Missouri, Delaware and New Jersey.

Patel was also a finalist for the Young Male Competitor of the Year award.

Rudd was a finalist for the IHOF Instructor of the Year.

They were recognized at the IHOF Banquet and presented awards for the their selection.

Last month, Patel won his second consecutive Youth Black Belt Grand Championship.

Patel is also a multi-year winner of the Straughn Middle School Spelling Bee.