Talon News - Good Local News

By Debbie Israel
TALON 

CHAMPION KARATE KIDS

 

Debbie Israel

Waylon Gillentine and Josalynn Ferguson show off their awards, accompanied by their Head Instructor from Aztec Karate Academy, Travis Gillentine

Two young people from Aztec recently made Aztec, and Aztec Karate Academy, proud by bringing home world championship awards. Josalynn Ferguson, 13, and Waylon Gillentine, 11, both competed in the 2017 World Championships, Chuck Norris System, United Fighting Arts Federation, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The tournament was held July 13-16.

Josalynn came home with a first place World Championship in Fighting, and second place in Kata for Fighting. Kata, for those like me who don't know, is a series of forms and moves that simulate fighting 2000 years ago, according to Mr. Gillentine, Head Instructor at Aztec Karate Academy. The moves show technique, power and basic knowledge of fighting.

Mr. Gillentine said Josalynn was one of his first students when he opened his academy about a year and a half ago. He said she is very dedicated and spends a lot of time practicing. When asked why she like the sport, Josalynn said, "This makes me feel like I can protect myself in the streets, if I should be attacked." She said that she has never had to use her skills to defend herself.

Waylon said he started learning the fighting skills when he was only five years old, but really decided to stick with it when he was seven. He said, "It's fun, and we learn new stuff every day." He also said that being able to defend himself was a good feeling.

Mr. Gillentine said Waylon, who is his son, had to overcome a nosebleed caused by an opponent in his first fight and came back to win three more bouts. In the age bracket that Waylon fights, 10 to 12 year-olds, anyone who causes his opponent to bleed is disqualified. Waylon came in second out of 18 opponents.

Congratulations to both of these fierce competitors!

 

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