Montgomery Catholic Students to Compete on United States Martial Arts Team

Montgomery Catholic Students to Compete on United States Martial Arts Team 1Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School students Heather and Peter Walski, along with their father Bill Walski, will represent the United States in the World Martial Arts Games in London, England in October.
“I am really excited to be traveling to London,” said Peter. “It’s going to be really cool meeting athletes from all over the world.”
The Walski family studies Shotokan karate, a discipline that blends fundamental movements, forms, and sparring to develop physical and mental fitness. While they have not been practicing for very long, these young athletes quickly rose through the ranks at their dojo, Grandmaster Webb’s Karate and Fitness Fellowship of Christian Martial Arts Academy. Originally intended to be a fun way to learn basic self-defense, the Walski family quickly took to the different aspects of Shotokan Karate, and each one has a different area they like the best. 7th grader Heather specializes in kata, which is a set sequence of moves, like punches, kicks, jumps, and stances. 6thgrader Peter enjoys weapons, especially the bo staff, and Bill excels at hand-to-hand sparring. At the World Martial Arts Games, Heather and Bill will be competing in three events each and Peter will compete in four events.
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Heather and Peter both admitted that karate was not love-at-first-kick as they found the basic moves and repetitive kata sequences to be boring. Both children have a background in gymnastics and soccer, and their athletic conditioning and competitive natures helped to keep them engaged throughout their karate practice. They caught on quickly to new concepts and were able not only to master the basic skills but also to quickly learn new movements and techniques. The turning point for each one of them came in their first competition, where they both placed highly: Heather earned 1st in kata, 1stin weapons, and 3rd in fighting and Peter placed 1st in fighting.

“I was really nervous that I wasn’t going to do well,” said Heather about her first competition. “But then I placed in three events, and it boosted my confidence in my abilities.”
Twice a week, the Walski family trains at their local dojo in Montgomery. Once a month, they travel to the main dojo in Ashland, Alabama for an intense 7-hour training with their US National Team teammates. This is in addition to their regular schedule of schoolwork and soccer practice.
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The World Martial Arts Games will take place in London from October 25 to October 27. Around 500 athletes of different ages and martial arts disciplines from 20 countries from around the world will compete in events that include kata demonstrations, grappling, sparring, and wood and brick breaking.

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