They worked hard for many hours, days, weeks and months. Their focus and determination yielded rewards this month as three members of the local Olympic Karate Shotokan school received medals at the 2019 National Championships and Team Trials in Chicago. The event was held July 9-14 in the Schaumburg Convention Center.
“There is room for more hours and intensity in the workouts,” said Sensei Fredy Arevalo, the senior instructor and founder of Olympic Karate Shotokan.
Francisco Vera won two gold medals in the 17-year-old male intermediate kata and kumite (sparring); Sensei Arevalo won the bronze medal, 45 years and over male advanced kata; and Katherine Arevalo won the silver medal, 17 years female advanced kumite.
Arevalo competed against eight opponents in her sparring competition. In a separate honor, she was awarded her black belt (first dan) by the USA National Karate technical committee. Several years ago, she achieved her brown belt after being tested by Shihan Tomas Miles of Peru who was the sensei of Fredy (Arevalo’s father) when Fredy was a young man growing up in Peru.
Vera performed the Jion kata to win his gold medal. Fredy performed Kanku Sho twice, as well as Jion and Bassai Dai katas to win his bronze.
The local teammates won medals at the Arizona Karate Championship & USA National Qualifier, Scottsdale, on Feb. 16. This enabled them to advance to the Nationals in Chicago.
While attending the National Championships, the Arevalo family also participated in the Family Team Kata. Sensei Arevalo and daughter Katherine (both black belts) were joined by green belt wife/mother Yelena Arevalo. They performed a synchronized Jion kata. The Family Team Kata is a more relaxed and fun environment that brings families closer together at the core level with their own members and also strengthens bonds with other families who belong to the greater karate community. Skill levels can vary within a family. For example, it is often the child who has greater skill than the parent. But a family’s spirit will always shine in the arena. For the same reason, the Sierra Vista dojo has some family combinations that greatly enhance everyone’s learning experience. Karate has no age limit.
As for competition, Sensei Arevalo said, “Not everyone likes competition, but if you are that person who wants to be part of the OKS competition team, I am willing to help you to achieve your dreams.”
Sensei Arevalo is a U.S. Army veteran who is employed as an electrical engineer on Fort Huachuca. He grew up in the jungle of northern Peru and is a former world-class karate competitor who won the silver medal in men’s kata in the 1995 Pan American Games. He has achieved numerous other awards and honors. He also serves as a referee at the state (Arizona) and national competition levels.
Sensei Arevalo founded the Olympic Karate Shotokan dojo in 2013 to provide an opportunity for young people in Sierra Vista to develop lifelong skills, discipline and character. The school, the only Shotokan dojo in Sierra Vista, welcomes people of all ages. It is located at 999 E. Fry Blvd., Suite 223. For more information, visit olympickarateshotokan.com or call (520) 895-9770.
Submitted by Ted Morris, Olympic Karate Shotokan public affairs