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RECEIVING TOP HONORS: Mark Rudd elected to Isshinryu Hall of Fame

For those who study Isshinryu Karate, there is no higher honor than being inducted into the Isshinryu Hall of Fame and Andalusia Isshinryu instructor will be one of four people inducted into the 2018 HOF class.

“It’s pretty humbling,” Rudd said. “It’s kind of one of those things you think about your whole life, but you never think it’s going to be you. I was at a loss for words when they called me and told me about the nomination. It’s just a great honor.”

Rudd said that he got started in Isshinryu Karate 32 years ago and has been teaching since 1991.

“When I was around 24 or 25, I had a friend that was taking karate,” Rudd said. “I was an athlete in high school and just wanted to find something to help me stay in shape. I went and signed up for a class and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

It was the challenge of discipline that hooked him, Rudd said.

“It was hard,” Rudd said. “I was always able to play basketball and baseball, but when I started karate there where a lot of things I couldn’t do. It was challenging from day. It’s a great thing when you challenge yourself. I’ve always been a competitor and loved competing in the tournaments. I competed for 30 years, but I think I’m pretty much retired from that.”

A couple of Rudd’s AIK students, Taj Patel and Kila Owens, are also up for big awards at this months Isshinryu Hall of Fame Tournament in Gaitlinburg.

Patel is up for the Young Male Karate Ka 12-under Award.

Owens is up for the Female Karate Ka Award.

Rudd will be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Robert Porterfield, Robert Markovich and Dr. Robert McKittrick.

The 2018 IHOF awards ceremony and tournament will be held July 20-21 in Gatlinburg.