Martial Arts Competition Burns In Duncanville
The 7th Annual Texas Karate Heatwave was held on Saturday at Duncanville High School. The 'A' Rated A.O.K. (Amateur Organization of Karate) tournament is produced by Kristi Shawky of Dale and Kristy's American Karate Academy.
The competition attracted over 450 participants from all over Texas, as well as Louisiana and Arkansas. The open form event featured Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Kung Fu, and other fighting styles.
Ms. Shawky is a 5th Degree Black Belt, and has studied martial arts for 21 years. American Karate Academy, located in Duncanville, has operated for 15 years with students ranging fro three years old, up to a 70 year-old black belt. The facility has a full sized boxing ring that accommodates full contact kickboxing. They also offer a weight room, cardio mat, after school program, and a summer camp.
In attendance at the Texas Heatwave was A.O.K. president Barry Guimbellot. Mr. Guimbellot praised the 'A' rated tournament as one of the state's best. There are 28 A.O.K. sanctioned tournaments held throughout Texas. The A.O.K., started in 1978, counts Chuck Norris among its alumni. Participants in three regions (North, Central, and East), compete all year to earn a birth in the state championship to be held December 8th in Austin.
Saturday's event featured various specialties, including weapons, musical, and team. Divisions ranged from 5 and under beginners up to Men and Women's Master Black Belts. Two Duncanville High gymnasiums showcased twelve rings set up for non-contact sport karate, including demos and sparring,
Ms. Shawky's tournament was outstanding. First time participants were as excited as the veterans were intense. I couldn't help but think how blessed the children were to be involved in such a worthwhile pursuit. My guess is that 99% of the kids present today will turn out to be productive members of society.
Anyone looking for an activity that will provide their child with discipline as well as mental and physical fitness would do well by considering martial arts. I'm sure glad we did.