Photo above: 3rd Degree Black Belt, Rome Wallace, demonstrating flying side kicks.
As any martial artist can tell you, it takes years and years of training to work your way up through the ranks of belt promotions to achieve that ultimate black belt status. After six or more years of intense training, fifteen members of Club Karate showed up and proved that those years of training really do pay off.
On Saturday, October 24, the United Fighting Arts Federation, the governing body of the Chuck Norris System (also known as Chun Kuk Do), held their Region 7 promotions at the McCleary Premier Martial Arts Studio in Powder Springs, Georgia. In order to be invited to this promotion, members had to successfully pass a videotaped pre-test that was evaluated by the Region 7 board. Each of the Club Karate members that pre-tested successfully passed and were invited to test live in front of the board. There were a total of 18 students testing in Region 7.
Each candidate must go through a series of fighting techniques, traditional techniques, one steps, katas’ and sparring during the test. Each degree of black belt has a different set of requirements that must be met during the test. The higher the degree, the longer the training, and the more complex and in depth the requirements. After three and a half hours of evaluations, the following candidates were promoted.
The new 1st Degree Black Belts are: Catsie Castrechino, age 15, homeschooled; Travis Cato, age 12, Lady’s Island Middle School; Dan Crowden, age 50; Rob Gallagher, age 35; Merritt Patterson, age 13, Riverview Charter School; Meg Rogowsky, age 22; Sarah Tanis, age 15, Beaufort High School; Rhogue Wallace, age 12, Lady’s Island Middle School.
New 2nd Degree Black Belt ranks were awarded to: Melinda Cato, age 46; Brandon Disbrow, age 39; Timothy Edwards, age 14, homeschooled; Jessica Lehnert, age 49; Ron Marcell, age 54; Charlie Spears, age 74.
A 3rd Degree Black Belt rank was awarded to: Rome Wallace, age 17, Beaufort High School.
Club Karate is owned and operated by Chuck Elias, who is an 8th Degree Black Belt in the Chuck Norris System. Club Karate was founded in 1988 and has produced 59 black belts since its opening.