Local Shawnee Mission East Teacher Qualifies for 2014 USA Senior National Team

Local Shawnee Mission East High School teacher and certified martial arts instructor David Muhammad, of Merriam, Kan., recently qualified to be a member of the 2014 USA Senior National Team in Chicago, Ill. Muhammad placed second in the Male Elite Kumite (sparring) -84 Kg division. Eighty-five athletes from around the United States fought for a coveted spot on the US Team, and Muhammad was one of only 28 men who qualified, and the only one from the Kansas City metropolitan area.

As a member of the 2014 USA Senior National Team, Muhammad will attend two championships. He and his teammates will make their 2014 debut at the North American Cup in British Columbia, Canada in mid March. In late May, they will attend the annual Senior Pan American Championship in Margarita Island in Venezuela. He also plans to compete in July at the World Championship in Germany.

Muhammad, who has been training in martial arts since age three and is now a 5th Degree Black Belt, is looking forward to the upcoming competitions. “I’ve been training nearly all my life, and I’m very excited for this opportunity,” he says. “My long-term goal is to earn a spot on the 2020 Olympic Karate team and to compete at that level. However, my immediate goal is to place in the top three at the international level and to continue to elevate the quality of martial arts in my own community.”

Muhammad is a certified instructor and teaches regularly at Integrity Martial Arts Academy, located in South Kansas City, specializing in youth development. Under the guidance of his father, Kyoshi Rudolph Muhammad, he has been able to grow as both a practitioner and teacher of the art. A passionate teacher, he has started martial arts clubs at Fort Scott Community College, Emporia State University and Shawnee Mission East High School. This passion for teaching culminated in a 2010 humanitarian trip to Uganda, East Africa. While there, Muhammad taught martial arts to a group of 30 boys for eight days.

“We are very proud of David’s accomplishments and for representing Integrity Martial Arts Academy,” said Kyoshi Muhammad, founder and owner of Integrity Martial Arts Academy, 11130 Holmes Road in Kansas City, Mo. “The time he spends at the national and international level provides a real opportunity for our students to gain insights of how to compete at that level as well as learning new ways to train—both mentally and physically.”

Currently, Muhammad coaches the Integrity Martial Arts Elite competition team. This team trains regularly and competes throughout the country. A regular competitor himself, Muhammad is a former member of the Amerikick World Competition Team and a current member of the International MartialArts Association (IMA) Competition Team on the USA National Karate-do Federation circuit.

Outside of martial arts, Muhammad teaches high school social studies for the Shawnee Mission School District. He received his Bachelor's degree from Emporia State University and his Masters of Education degree from Baker University. He and his wife, Aisha Sharif, are welcoming a daughter in April.

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