Team Kumite earns international titles
Irwin-based Team Kumite was well-represented at the International Tournament of Champions Dec. 8-10, at the Markham PAN AM Centre in Toronto, Canada.
The tournament, sanctioned by World Association of Kickboxing Organizations under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee and the North American Sport Karate Association.
North America's best martial artists converged to compete in WAKO Tatami-style divisions. Team Kumite, an all-star based travel karate team, was selected from Western Pennsylvania to attend.
Norwin students who competed included Luke Lokay, 14, who won gold in sparring; Lucy Lokay, 11, who won gold in sparring; Cameron Klos, 16, who took bronze in sparring; Gabby Viola, 7, who took silver in sparring; Gavin Hladek, 14, who won gold in kata; and Austin Hladek, 11, who was a finalist.
Team Kumite is coached by Sensei Bill Viola Jr., and trains out of the Allegheny Shotokan Viola Karate dojo in Irwin.
The team hopes to raise funds this year to attend the WAKO Cadets and Juniors World Championships in Italy, in September 2018.