Yes you read the title correctly! I am sorry that you are finally finding out about this now! In 2011 as well as this year, we are not competing in the U.S. Karate Nationals. The reason is due to the long distance location of the U.S. Karate Nationals in relation to the location of my Karate school in Chattanooga. In 2011, it was located in Arlington, Texas and this year it is in Reno, Nevada.
I, of course would love to go but again I teach karate not for the money but for the thrill of seeing others achieve and overcome obstacles that many people would say is impossible or nearly impossible.
At the time, I didn't know that one of my students had Autism. In 2012, I only took 3 students to the U.S. Karate Nationals. One person was a 8 year old boy and the other two are adults. Of the 3 students that I took, 2 out of 3 made history. This wasn't a planned situation but definitely a fortunate one.
So how did we make history 5 times. Let's start with Katie Whipple. Katie Whipple is legally blind and she can better describe to you what extent she is blind on my You Tube page "Corey Greens Karate." The video you can view is titled "5 Historic Green's Karate WDEF Interviews". Her story is the first of the 5 interviews.
Katie Whipple became the "first blind female in history to qualify and compete in the U.S. Karate Nationals." Katie competed in the handicap division as well as the non-handicap division. The first time she competed, she competed in the 16 and older women's handicap division and won the gold medal. The next day, she competed in the non-handicap division and won the silver medal in the 18-34 year old Women's beginner kata division. By doing so, Katie made history two times.
What about the other 3 times you might be wondering... Keep reading.
Also at the 2012 U.S. Karate Nationals, a student of mine named Ryan Rogers, competed and was also a judge at the 2012 Karate Nationals. Rogers was diagnosed with high-functioning autism in October of 2013. When Rogers, judged the U.S. Karate Nationals, he became the first person with autism in history to do so. He became a judge with the USA-N.K.F. Nationals in 2012. Ryan also competed in the 18-34 year old novice division (he was a previous black belt as well with another karate school but he had to start over at my dojo) and won the bronze in kata and silver in sparring against grown men!
I had a feeling at the time, that this 2012 U.S. Karate Nationals was special but I didn't know it was this special. Many people don't know this story but now you do! Please share this information with others! Thank you for reading my blog! More blogs to come soon!