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Local karate school wins national titles

A local karate school is listed as one of the top karate schools in the world and took home national titles.

Posted: Jan 9, 2019 11:18 PM
Updated: Jan 10, 2019 12:03 AM

UTICA, N.Y. - A local karate school is listed as one of the top karate schools in the world and took home national titles.

Karate USA competed in the National Blackbelt League Super Grands in Buffalo and brought home five world titles.

"Our dojo actually got listed as the 25th top karate school in the world by Boice Lydell of the NBL which is a really good accomplishment," said karate instructor John Shires.

The martial arts school is the only one in New York state to be on the list. For Shires, it's something he has been working for since he and his father created the school together about four years ago.

"One of his goals was to make it one of the top karate schools around," said John.

John teaches his two daughters and his son at the school and they all competed in the national competition. His daughter Samantha took home a world title and NBL diamond ring. 

"I did an open forum which is a kata that you make up yourself and I had to compete against people from all different places in the world and I got first place," said karate student, Samantha Shires.

Samantha has been practicing martial arts for about eight years and she is just 12 years old. She says her favorite part of competing is going to all different places, even though it can be scary.

'It was a little bit nerve-wracking because there's lights on you and you're hoping you don't mess up and then you get it over with and you're like it wasn't really that bad," said Samantha.

John says the secret to becoming world champions is hard work.

"Our main thing is sweat, dedication, and success," said John. 

Other students took home titles as well. This may be the first time the school has been declared one of the top in the world, but it's not the first time they've won awards.

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