GRAFTON— The Grafton Martial Arts Academy recently traveled Newtown, PA, to take on the competition in a Karate tournament.
And while Sensei John Poling hadn’t competed in over 20 years, he was ready to give it his all, under one condition: his students had to do so as well.
Poling, along with his daughters Aaliyah and Arianny, as well as his dojo daughter Bella Exline went to compete in the tournament.
With a mission to show the competition just what the Grafton Martial Arts Academy was made of, the team came home with medals in hand.
Showing that even after lying dormant in the competition world he could bring it, Poling placed second in Kumite in the men’s Blackbelt division.
Receiving inspiration from her sensei, Exline was able to take down the competition, placing second in Kumite and second in Kata in the 18 and under Blackbelt division.
Meanwhile, Aaliyah quickly gained the attention of judges with her mastery of martial arts, securing a first-place finish in Kata, as well as a second place in kumite in her division, while her sister, Arianny, garnered a second-place finish in Kumite in her division.
“It was a really great experience,” voiced Poling. “There were over 200 competitors from several states including New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, Michigan, Delaware, Pennsylvania and more!”
Poling revealed that he and Exline will also be testing for Blackbelts in August at Camp Shotokan.
“I will be testing for my third degree Sandan, and Bella is a Junior Blackbelt testing for her adult’s Blackbelt,” he noted. “We will be testing under a panel of approximately six to eight high ranking Blackbelts from around the world!”
Grafton Martial Arts Academy, located at 68 West Main Street, Grafton, has been offering a true Shotokan experience under the leadership of Sensei Poling, a Nidan Second-Degree Black Belt under the American Japanese Karate Association International (AJKA-I), for over a year now.
The dojo offers Kids’ Karate, Adults’ Karate and kickboxing classes.
To learn more about the Grafton Martial Arts Academy and its offerings, please contact Sensei Poling by phone at 304-694-2080. Also, be sure to like and follow the academy on Facebook at Ajka-I of Wv/ Grafton Martial Arts Academy.