Sensei Patsy Callahan took some of her Karate students from the Okinawa Jinbukan Karate Dojo to the 2018 USA AAU National Karate Competition June 26-29 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the students and Sensei came home with medals.
Will Beard came home with three medals, including a gold in Kata and a bronze in Kobudo and Kumite. Fellow student Nicholas Jacklin didn't medal, but according to Callahan, he "did an amazing job for his first competition."
Colby Retana earned a gold medal in Kata and a bronze in Kobudo, and Mac Beard, who had been suffering from a stomach virus that week, took a silver in Kumite.
As for Callahan, who was just 4 1/2 month removed from surgery to reattach tendons, she ended up bringing home four medals. She earned gold medals in both Long Weapons and Short Weapons and a silver in Kumite.
"It was a very close fight in the (Kumite) finals," she said.
She also earned a bronze in Kata.
"This was a huge competition, bringing at least twice the number of competitors than last year," Callahan said. "The boys did an outstanding job. They went out and gave 110 percent at each and every event.
"Mac Beard deserves an extra shout out. He was sick all night long with a stomach virus and still went out there and competed in each and every event, coming home with a well-deserved silver medal in the fighting competition. That is a prime example of a strong Karateka that digs deep, even when he is sick."
Above all, her students showed professionalism throughout the competition.
"All of the boys did an outstanding job and showed exemplary sportsmanship. I couldn’t be more proud to have coached these young athletes and will be looking forward to coaching many, many more," Callahan said. "Many thanks to the Owners of Team ECCO Aquarium and Shark Lab, for thier sponsorship, for these young athletes."
Callahan's Okinawa Jinbukan Karate Dojo is always welcoming new students. For more information contact the Dojo at 828-606-9298.