Area Youth attend International Karate Championship in Colorado on Sunday; Will be representing KC

Twelve students of Kwanzaa Martial Arts Academy, Kansas City, Mo., together with their coach, Master David Muhammad, will compete at the 17th Annual Rocky Mountain International Championship in Colorado on Sunday, May 5, 2013. The event, hosted and sponsored by IMA Karate and sanctioned by USA Karate, will be held at Monarch High School in Louisville. All traditional Karate styles will be welcomed, and the tournament is both a USA Karate Nationals Qualifier and World Shotokan Karate Union (WSKU) Championship.

The local students, who range from Yellow to Black Belt and ages 10 to 15, will compete in Kata (forms) and Kumite (sparring). The students have been attending intense training sessions in addition to weekly karate lessons for the last three months.

Members of the local tournament team include: Imane Bouhamdi, Henry Buren, Cayden Carter, Jacob Mertes, Alex Raygoza, Christian Raygoza, Ebrahim Rasheed, Julianna Rice, Hayden Schwartz, Larry Shelton, Jaaron Smith and Jacob Tanner.

Event sponsors say the Championship offers the opportunity to bring together all the traditional Karate styles to the Rocky Mountain area and provides a professional, well organized, memorable and friendly environment for all the competitors and instructors.

"Our competition team has worked really hard over the last several months, and we've made great progress in preparing for the next level of competition," said Master David, who recently received his 5th degree Black Belt and is a teacher at Shawnee Mission East High School. "This open international tournament is one of the most exciting and most valuable traditional tournaments in American and with hundreds of participants scheduled to attend, it guarantees a unique traditional Karate Championship for our students." To help offset the tournament expenses, the Academy raised funds, thanks to the generosity of Mamma Leone's New York Style Pizza and Italian Restaurant; in South Kansas City. There were also several donations from various individuals.

“We are very appreciative of the community support, as well as the commitment of our parents to provide their children with this new experience,” he added. “We are all enthusiastic and eager to represent Kansas City and the Kwanzaa Martial Arts Academy in Colorado.”

The Kwanzaa Martial Arts Academy, located at 11130 Holmes Road in Kansas City, Mo., is focused on building character, respect for authority, and inner discipline, in a safe and cooperative learning environment. The Academy offers affordable and convenient weekly classes for children, adults, seniors and advanced students. There are no contracts. Self defense and summer camp programs are also available. Founder, and owner, Master Rudolph A. Muhammad, has over 40 years of experience and earned Master rank under world renowned Grandmaster, Sabunim Yong Taek Chung. To learn more, call 816-761-0143.

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