Since 2006, my students and I have competed in the USA-N.K.F. (USA National Karate-Do Federation) Karate Nationals 7 times. We competed in 2006 - 2010 and in 2012 and 2013. We skipped 2011 and this year (2014) due to the location (west coast or Texas) of the U.S. Karate Nationals. The USA-N.K.F. is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee. The USA-N.K.F. offers the highest caliber of competition for traditional karate in the U.S.
Overall, I have taken a total of 30 people to the U.S. Karate Nationals and 29 people have won medals. 4 of the 29 were from special needs students competing in the non-handicap division. The shortest amount of time someone has trained and won a National medal is 2 months. There has been 12 students that trained less than 1 year and have won a medal. 8 of those students trained less than 9 months. 6 of those students trained 6 months or less. The oldest competitor to date was 57 (female) and the youngest was 5. So far, I have taken 5 five year olds and 3 in 2007. In 2007, my students won 2 of the 3 medals in the 5 and under beginner girls kata division for the entire U.S.
In my karate program, we don't just focus on competing, we focus on the art of karate, the self-defense aspect, the competition aspect, and the fitness aspect. Karate is not an extracurricular activity. Karate is an art form, a way of life for many and a discipline of the mind and body.
Competition is a great way for the student to test their ability among the best in the nation. We like to look at the Nationals as a great family experience and a vital tool for exponential growth for the student. The parents and students learn many things from watching and the experience is unique that cannot be replaced once you experience it! Thank you for reading my blog!