A Good Year For Karate Kid
By any measure it’s been a good year for Charles Castellano, the muscular 15-year-old of Italian and Chinese ancestry from Rockaway Point.
The year began with Charles being re-invited to join the AAU National Karate Team. He then went on to win the silver medal in fighting at the prestigious Karate World Championships in Miskolc, Hungary. In May he came home from the seven state AAU Regional Tournament with gold medals in fighting and forms and a silver medal in weapons. In seven annual regional tournaments, Charles has won the gold medal in 16 of 20 events.
The year was topped off at the AAU National Karate Tournament this past weekend in Richmond, Virginia. Charles won bronze medals in both forms and weapons, but the main event was winning the gold medal in fighting. In spite of average height and weight, he easily defeated every opponent in the heavyweight division.
Karate is unlike most sports because the winner is determined by the perspectives of the particular judges in the rink. Often the winning margin is only a fraction of a second or a tenth of a point. However, the dominance of this talented young man and athlete is obvious when one examines his tournament record since becoming a Black Belt in 1997.
The AAU sponsors national karate competitions in three events every year; forms, fighting and weapons. Charles competes, and excels, in all three. In four national tournaments he has competed in 12 events and has won a medal six times. This homegrown athlete is universally acknowledged as one of the most promising karate students in the country.
Charles has been the subject of feature stories in The Wave, Daily News, and Newsday. He trains under the supervision of Sensei Bruce Hodes at World Champions Karate Center in Rockaway Park. Charles, who will be a junior at Midwood High School in the fall, also plays on the varsity lacrosse team.