2013-07-26 / Sports

World Champions Karate at AAU Nationals


TheWorld Champions Karate National Team; left to right Darnell, Joshua, Dylan, Jalilah, Dallas, Sensei Samer and Coach Donna. TheWorld Champions Karate National Team; left to right Darnell, Joshua, Dylan, Jalilah, Dallas, Sensei Samer and Coach Donna. Students from World Champions Karate Center recently competed at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) National Karate Tournament held in Cincinnati, Ohio, held June 25th-28th. Five students competed at this prestigious tournament drawing athletes from the U.S.A. and several foreign countries.

They competed in Kata (forms), Kobudo (weapons) and Kumite (point sparring).

This competition was so significant to Rockaway as, post-Sandy many of the past students and competitors have not returned to their training. Sensei Bruce Hodes was elated to have fielded a five member tournament team to represent Rockaway at this national event.

The team was composed of Darnell Thoms, Joshua Lall, Dallas Lall, Dylan Kuznitz, and Jalilah Alli and Coaches Sensei Samer Hussein and Donna Young.


Ricardo and Roberto mix it up at Aviator Ricardo and Roberto mix it up at Aviator The competition floor, composed of 12 rings, was packed with hundreds of athletes each day of tournament.

Coaches prepare the athletes in staging for each event. It’s Coach Donna’s responsibility to take the competitor to the correct ring and hand them over to Sensei Samer while they stay at ringside throughout the particular event.

Each of Rockaway’s Karateka performed brilliantly with focus and determination in all events throughout this grueling competition. During the competition parents were in the stands cheering for the team.

As the day progressed Jalilah, Darnell and Dylan medalled, while Dallas and Joshua gave it their all.

As a precursor to the National Tournament these five and other World Champion Karate athletes competed at the Aviator Sports Complex.

This event was the AAU Metropolitan Championship. Coincidentally the Aviator tournament was held April 28th, just six months apres Sandy.

Sensei Bruce Hodes was determined to rebuild. With a tremendous effort the Dojo was completely rebuilt and 20 dedicated students who were still in Rockaway brought Karate back to the Peninsula on December 1st, 2012.

You can visit the Dojo at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive to check out the programs and summer specials.

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