Kids! of the Month
Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!
month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things.
We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids
to accomplish their own amazing achievements.
Amazing Kids! of the Month for November, 2002: Amazing Karate Kids, U.S.A.!
Quotes of the Month:
“I am so happy that being in karate lets me help other kids, and maybe can let them know that they are special too. All that they need to do is work hard, be a good person, help other people and set a good example for others,”
has taught me self control and has allowed me to travel to different
parts of the world.
"I love all my dojo brothers and sisters."
"Because it's something I am good in."
This month's Amazing Kids! of the Month winners are three amazing young martial arts whiz kids! They are all under age 10, and yet have racked up some amazing accomplishments and awards for their skills in karate and other martial arts.
Do you want to learn how to become an amazing karate kid too? Read their stories below, and find out what it takes to be a winner in the world of martial arts. Who knows? You just might be the next kid to inspire a movie about...karate kids!
Don't forget to check out the "Related Links" section at the end of the story. There you'll find links to articles explaining how the purpose of martial arts training is to prevent violence, and articles on how it can help children with special needs too!
If you have a special skill, talent or ability you want to tell the world about, be sure to let Amazing Kids! know about it too, by nominating yourself for an Amazing Kid! of the Month award!
Three Amazing Karate Kids
8 year old Brandon
Anthony “Berther” Rivera started training in Martial Arts when he was 6
years old. At the tender age of 4, Brandon would sit in front of
the T.V. set, and mimic all the moves from his favorite show, “The Power
Rangers.” He would run all around the house kicking everything in sight.
His dad had studied Karate, so decided to take Brandon for his first lesson.
Little did Brandon or his dad know just how talented he would prove to
Brandon was off to a great start and received two third place trophies at his first tournament! Brandon enjoys competing, and meeting new friends at the tournaments. He says, "Karate has taught me self control and has allowed me to travel to different parts of the world. I've been able to meet some awesome people like my instructor(s) Kyoshi Hector Rodriquez, and his son Sensei Buddha, Kyoshi Tommy Mays, and many others."
Brandon has traveled
as far as to Quebec, Canada to compete. Brandon is currently rated
by KRANE, which is an organization,
that rates some of the top competitors in the world. He is following
Krane ciruit, (his first year ever following a circuit!) and because he
has enough points,
Brandon enjoys spending quiet times with his big sister Eliana, who he calls his "most important person."
Brandon's dad says
they are looking for sponsors for Brandon. If your company might
be interested in sponsoring him, or if you know someone else who might,
you can email Brandon's dad at: Sweetlou111761@aol.com
Here's more about amazing Brandon:
Most Admired Martial
Artist: Kyoshi (Kyoshi has named him "Berther.")
Amazing Ashley Torres is a 7 year old from New York who has been religiously training in martial arts at Tiger Schulmann's Karate for 3 years under instructors Joshu Christopher Iavarone and Sensei Gotthoffer. She is currently a brown belt and her her father, Louis Velazquez, president of Karate Kidz Online is confident that in the coming months, with hard training, she should earn her black belt! That would make her the youngest female in the Tiger Schulmann’s Karate organization to hold a black belt! Wow!
She was chosen as
Kidz Online student of the month for October 2002, and in addition
to her training in martial arts, busy Ashley is looking forward to getting
involved in acting, singing and modeling. Brave Ashley has overcome a lot
of adversity in her life over the past three years. She lost her
grandmother, and her father shortly after that. She narrowly escaped
from a fire in her home. She almost lost her mother in the World
Trade Center attack. Sadly, she did know a few people that were lost
in that attack, as her mother works on the American Stock Exchange and
Ashley was a regular visitor there.
Her dad says:
"I know it sounds sad but I find Ashley to be amazing because she got stronger
and didn't let herself get crushed. She is always the kid that is trying
to help the other kids when they are having trouble with school work or
in the playground. I remember last Christmas when I was doing charity work
for The River Fund, a non-profit organization that helps disabled and mentally
challenged children. She went with me to get 50 kids toys and games.
At some point when we were shopping she stopped and started to cry.
I asked her, 'Why are you crying?' She said because she felt so bad
for these kids and wished that she could do more to help them. I was floored
and it just showed me, as she has many times in the past, that this child
was very special."
Ashley has a few martial arts tournaments in the coming months as well as being featured in a kids' calendar due to be released soon. She was chosen as Karate Kidz Online student of the month for October because, as Kidz' president Louis Velazquez put it: "She is someone that other children can look up to, in this day and age the kids need to know that they can do better for themselves beyond what they see on their local street corner. She was my inspiration for Karate Kidz Online, giving me the opportunity to help children all over the world."
“I am so happy that being in karate lets me help other kids and maybe can let them know that they are special too. All that they need to do is work hard, be a good person, help other people and set a good example for others,” says Ashley.
You have a lot to be proud of, Ashley! You set a good example and are an inspiration to us all! Keep up the good work!
Gavonnah is an amazing
9 year old Brown Belt in Karate from Florida. He started training
in Karate at age 3! He currently trains with karate instructor Herbie
Thompson at Nisei Karate Center five to seven days a week, in addition
to attending school and taking part in school activities!
But all that hard work doesn't bother Gavonnah one bit. He says he likes the hard training "a lot, a lot." Gavonnah's mother, Annie Washington enrolled Gavonnah in karate classes in hopes that he'd overcome his shyness. She says: "He needed this. He was so timid. The instructors saw something in him and it's been good ever since."
So good, that amazing Gavonnah has repeatedly won Competitor of the Year for his age range in tournaments across the United States. Apparently, his techniques in karate are so advanced that tournament guidelines have been changed to prevent him from being disqualified. One year, while competing in the Florida Black Belt Association ("FBBA") tournaments, Gavonnah was barred from 16 competitions because the techniques he has mastered were not normally taught to students his age.
His mother says:
"I sat him down and I told him, 'Don't let them discourage you. We don't
want to go backward; we want to go forward." A month later, she received
a phone call from FBBA officials informing her that they altered the rules
because of him! Now that's amazing! Way to go, Gavonnah!
More about Gavonnah's Martial Arts Accomplishments:
Brandon's webpage: www.martialmadness.homestead.com/karate.html
biography on the World Youth Hall of Fame website:
Black Belt for Kids: w3.blackbeltmag.com/bbkids/
Kid Power: www.kidpower.org/
"How can Martial Arts Help At-Risk Kids?" - article:
"Martial Artists Learn that Violence is not the Answer"- article:
"Special Needs Karate" - article on benefits of Karate for children with
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