Nine Belen Goju Ryu karate students traveled to New Orleans for the United States Karate Alliance World Championships and collectively placed in 36 events, including 10 world titles.
“We’re very proud of our team,” said Belen Goju Ryu instructor Richard Long. “They worked hard to prepare for competition at that level, and they represented our school and our community extremely well.”
Elena “Buster” Marshall placed first in three events. She won chanbara, kumite and team kumite. She also was second in continuous sparring and kata.
Tyler Britton and David Perfetti also placed first in team kumite. Britton was also second in koshiki, third in musical kata and fourth in chanbara. Perfetti was also second in chanbara and kumite, third in koshiki and sixth in kata.
Taking first place in kumite in their respective age divisions were Connor Britton, Monica Esquibel and Victoria Morgan.
Conner Britton was second in koshiki and chanbara and fifth in kata. Esquibel added a fourth in kata and Morgan placed fourth in kata and musical kata and fifth in weapons.
Winning championships in continuous sparring were Sarah Self and John Marshall. Self was also second in team kata, third in kumite and eighth in kata. John Marshall was second in three categories: chanbara, kata and kumite.
Cody Marshall also represented Goju Ryu at the tournament and placed in four events. He was third in kata and koshiki, fourth in continuous sparring and fifth in chanbara.
Belen Goju Ryu collected 20 national point places at the tournament. “This was very good for the school, as there are not a lot of students who travel like some do from other schools,” instructor Cindy Long said. “So, to place nationally means they were in the top three places at the tournaments they did go to.”
The world tournament was held at the Radisson Hotel New Orleans Aug. 1 to Aug. 4.