A Jacksonville man represented the United States earlier this month at the 2015 World Karate and Kickboxing Championship.
Rory Holmes, the Assistant Dean of Students at Jacksonville High School, competed alongside some of the top black belts from 15 countries.
Holmes says the tournament was an amazing experience that provided some truly memorable moments.
“The World Karate and Kickboxing Council in America hosted the tournament for the first time on American soil in seven years. It was a good time with great sportsmanship,” says Holmes.
“My performance was not so great. It was my first time and I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere. I matched up with an experienced opponent from Venesuala. He got me out of my game plan, implemented his and won the fight.”
Holmes says the competition was based on point-fighting.
“A kick or a punch to the body is worth one point, a kick to the head is two points, a punch to the head is one point and any jumping technique is worth three points.”
Coming into the tournament Holmes was ranked third in the nation for the 35-42 year old middleweight division.
Holmes says he learned karate from a fellow co-worker in Detroit and quickly caught the “tournament buzz.” Holmes says karate provides individuals with both self-discipline and self-defense and can positively change the behavior of children.
The national karate competition starts up in a few months with regional competitions in New York and St. Louis.