FREDERICKTOWN -- Ten students from the Mid-Ohio Karate 4 Kids dojo in Fredericktown took their skills on the road to be tested last weekend in Louisville, Kentucky at the nationally known “Kickfest” competition.
Hosted by the Arabian Federation Martial Arts Academy, there were national points on the line in the event that was sanctioned by numerous martial arts authorities, including this being a qualifier for the Elite Martial Arts World Championships at the ESPN complex in Florida.
While not the entire competition crew from the school made the journey south, Mid-Ohio was well represented in several age divisions, according to organizer Jason Bostic. The school team, dubbed the “Soaring Eagles,” converged on the luxurious ballroom for all-day battle in martial arts forms, weapons, sparring, and padded weapons, and for the younger age divisions sock grappling.
In total, the group brought back 30 first-place trophies, six second-place, five third-place, one fifth-place, and all earning the ability to compete at the Elite Martial Arts World Championship at the World Wide of Sports complex at Walt Disney World in Florida, Bostic said.
Prepping for this competition has been high on the list for many of the students because of the size of tournament, the other martial artists they would see, and the strength of the test they would face, he noted.
Karate camps have been busy and packed to capacity all summer long as students not only sought to improve their skills, prepare for belt testing and advancement, but also to give them the edge over others on the competition floor. Students are in the middle of the sixth summer camp now, with another focusing solely on traditional martial arts weapons still coming up.
Beyond the competition floor, the Mid-Ohio school offers classes four days a week, teaching three styles of martial arts. Students range in age from as young as three to a strong number of adults in the dojo as well.
Over the last several years the number of students has risen dramatically, Bostic said, with the dojo now at 82. Offering group instruction, private lessons, focus on self-defense, the dojo and has expanded to work with local home schools for their physical education requirements.
The Soaring Eagles Competition team isn’t slowing down in their pursuit to be the best. Next week the school is running a weapon only camp focused solely on building consistency, skills, preparation for belt testing and competition. The team will travel on August 10 to Brook Park, Ohio for the Ultimate Karate Challenge, and again on Aug. 17 for the All-Star Karate Nationals in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Mid-Ohio Karate 4 Kids, at 155 North Main Street in Fredericktown is operated by Master Jacques Tarr, Eighth Degree Blackbelt. Mid-Ohio opened in Fredericktown since 2012, but has been in operation since 1984. The long tradition of success from the Mid-Ohio group is nothing new in the continually growing school.
Decades of National level titles in several circuits are held from students taught by Master Tarr, but even further his school is home to five world champions. Having competed in Hungary, Great Britain, and Canada, the students have many opportunities to showcase their talents.