Sport

Local martial arts Academy heads to US event

Howard Walker

Wednesday, July 11, 2012    

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A 16-member martial arts team from the Ningen Martial Arts Academy will leave the island tomorrow for the US Open Championship that kicks off on Friday at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

The Ningen Academy won five gold en route to 17 medals last year with 10 competitors and are again expected to do well.

Keith Edwards, chief instructor who holds the title of Shihan or Master, told the Jamaica Observer he is expecting another outstanding performance and invaluable experience for his charges.

"This will be very good because the top martial arts fighters from all over the world will be there. Just to be there and see the competition is an eye-opener for the kids," said Edwards.

Two other Jamaican teams are expected to participate at the US Open and Edwards pointed out that it is a costly affair, but is worth every penny.

"It is very costly; we haven't gotten any sponsorship and the parents are the ones who pay for their kids to go. We are talking about $100,000 per person, so it is the parents that are making the sacrifice to send their kids to get this experience," he added.

The event will be shown on ESPN 3 and members of the Ningen Academy ranging from ages six to adult, will participate in four different arts — Kata, creative weapons, points fighting and continuous fighting.

Kenneth Edwards, Jamaica's lone taekwondo qualifier to the London Olympics, is a product of the Ningen Academy.

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