The Coast plays host to AAU Karate District IX Championships as - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

The Coast plays host to AAU Karate District IX Championships as popularity rises

KILN, MS (WLOX) -

It was a suspenseful scene at East Hancock Elementary this Saturday morning. 

"(There's) definitely not a dull moment," Derek Pruitt said. It's definitely moving, you never know what's gonna happen. A kick here, a punch here, stance here, you really don't know." 

The school played host Saturday to the 2018 AAU District IX Karate Championships, as participants from Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama came to the Coast to show their stuff. 

Rannie Ladner (0:29) - "It's a lot of work and it requires a lot of discipline," said Rannie Ladner, director of Gulf Coast Shotokan Karate School who co-sponsored this event. "In my opinion, I think we (are lacking) that a lot in today's generation, and that's what karate does so much is instill discipline and respect."

Featuring over 80 students, including some as young as four years old, the event is another example of Karate's growing popularity along the Coast and beyond.

"Parents as well as students are understanding the importance of martial arts," said Pruitt, director of Pruitt's Marshal Arts, the other co-sponsor. "Teaching discipline, that dedication, and of course that self-defense that comes along with it. (The popularity is) increasing each year."

In fact, the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be the first to feature karate as a recognized sport. Damian Boldt, a Louisiana native who walked away with two gold medals today, says the upcoming games are a great opportunity to showcase everything karate has to offer. 

"I think what we're really most excited about is for people to see the athletes in karate and go wow, that's really cool," Boldt said. "But when they get into it, there's so many other great (life) lessons to be learned." 

Participants who earned a medal today advance to the regional championships in Louisiana in May, and will look to punch their tickets to the national competition in Florida this June.

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

  • SPORTSMore>>

  • World Cup fans are drinking so much beer, Russia is running low

    World Cup fans are drinking so much beer, Russia is running low

    Sunday, June 24 2018 5:08 PM EDT2018-06-24 21:08:55 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 5:19 PM EDT2018-06-24 21:19:06 GMT
    Restaurants and bars in Moscow told Reuters the influx of fans have nearly drained their supply and it is taking longer than usual to restock. (Source: Pixabay)Restaurants and bars in Moscow told Reuters the influx of fans have nearly drained their supply and it is taking longer than usual to restock. (Source: Pixabay)

    One Russian waiter told Reuters their restaurant ran out of draft lager on Monday and the suppliers’ stocks are also running low.

    More >>

    One Russian waiter told Reuters their restaurant ran out of draft lager on Monday and the suppliers’ stocks are also running low.

    More >>
  • Kroos scores late to give Germany 2-1 win over Sweden

    Kroos scores late to give Germany 2-1 win over Sweden

    Saturday, June 23 2018 4:29 PM EDT2018-06-23 20:29:18 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 1:29 PM EDT2018-06-24 17:29:31 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell). Sweden's Viktor Claesson, left, challenges Germany's Toni Kroos during the group F match between Germany and Sweden at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, June 23, 2018.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell). Sweden's Viktor Claesson, left, challenges Germany's Toni Kroos during the group F match between Germany and Sweden at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, June 23, 2018.
    Toni Kroos scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time from outside the penalty area and 10-man Germany rallied to beat Sweden 2-1 to stay alive at the World Cup.More >>
    Toni Kroos scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time from outside the penalty area and 10-man Germany rallied to beat Sweden 2-1 to stay alive at the World Cup.More >>
  • The Latest: England-Panama game could decide World Cup group

    The Latest: England-Panama game could decide World Cup group

    Saturday, June 23 2018 6:46 AM EDT2018-06-23 10:46:54 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 6:04 AM EDT2018-06-24 10:04:28 GMT
    (AP Photo/Felipe Dana). Brazil's Neymar, left and Thiago Silva talk to other players during Brazil's official training on the eve of the group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Rus...(AP Photo/Felipe Dana). Brazil's Neymar, left and Thiago Silva talk to other players during Brazil's official training on the eve of the group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Rus...
    Thiago Silva is upset with teammate Neymar for shouting at him during Brazil's tense 2-0 win over Costa Rica.More >>
    Thiago Silva is upset with teammate Neymar for shouting at him during Brazil's tense 2-0 win over Costa Rica.More >>
Powered by Frankly