Rudd leads way as AIK enjoys successful showing at IHOF
Published 11:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Five Andalusia Isshinryu Karate members competed in the 2023 Isshinryu Hall of Fame Tournament in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, on Friday, July 14, and Saturday, July 15.
Mark Rudd earned first places in weapons, kata, and kumite 61 and up masters division. Rudd was named the grand champion in men’s black belt kata and weapons. Taj Patel received first place in men’s third-fifth degree weapons and first place in men’s third-fifth degree kata. After two rounds in the adult grand champion competition, Rudd and Patel were tied. After mathematical tiebreakers were added back in, by the slimmest of margins, Rudd was named the grand champion.
“It was an honor to tie with Taj Patel for grand in his first IHOF as an adult black belt,” Rudd said. “It was an honor not only to compete alongside my sensei, but to tie not once but twice against him in the grand championship at the IHOF. I’m very proud to be able to have the honor to be known as one of Mr. Rudd’s black belts,” Patel added.
Johnathan Rudd took first place in brown belt weapons and another first-place finish in brown belt kata. Stetson Cook was first place in beginning kumite and fourth in kata.
AIK students were finalists from nominations sent in worldwide for select awards at the IHOF banquet on Friday, July 14. Five finalists in each category were selected with the winner announced at the banquet.
“Even though our guys didn’t win this year, being selected as a finalist is a great honor. It was great seeing so many Isshinryu friends from all over the world,” Rudd said.
Taj Patel was a finalist for Young Male Karateka (13-17) of the Year and Young Male Competitor of the Year. Johnathan Rudd was a finalist for Young Male Karateka (12 and under) and Young Male Competitor of the Year.
For information on classes in Isshinryu Karate and Jiu Jitsu, call Rudd at 334-488-3104.