(May 20, 2015)

Students qualify for Karate World Championships

SHREVEPORT, LA — Two Centenary College of Louisiana students have qualified to participate in the United States Karate Alliance (USKA) World Championships in New Orleans this August. Their qualification comes after a successful trip to Las Vegas this spring for the United States Karate Championships where Gage Dabin '18 placed in forms and Demri Robinson '16 won first place in his weight class in sparring.

Demri and Gage
Demri Robinson (left) and Gage Dabin (right) enjoy some free time in Las Vegas during the USKA United States Karate Championships

"Because of how we placed in the United States Karate Championships, Demri Robinson '16 and I are both nationally ranked and ranked as top ten in the state of Louisiana," said Dabin '18, who is captain of the newly formed club team.

Dabin and Robinson were able to compete in Las Vegas with the help of funding through Centenary's Student Government Association. While there has been an active karate presence on campus since 2008, this is the first time interest has developed into a recognized Centenary club.

The Centenary club has allowed Dabin to renew his interest in martial arts.

"I was a state champion for Missouri; however, I was unable to continue on due to a move," said Dabin. "I found out we had a martial arts presence here in October and have been training seriously 5-6 days a week alongside Demri in order for us to become better. I got involved because I knew I loved it when I was younger. Since it was on campus and I had the time to do it, I pursued it knowing that I'd regret it if I didn't."

His personal goal is to become a black belt before graduating which, Dabin determines, is completely feasible.

"This aspiration is also shared by Demri. We both want to win medals at the upcoming World Championships and next year's tournaments. We would love for the team to grow and for us to share this opportunity and our knowledge of martial arts with other faculty, staff, students, and locals."

Anyone with a Centenary gym membership is welcome to join the group practice three days a week; Monday and Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. and Fridays from 6-7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays focus on forms, control, and techniques while Friday is reserved for sparring. Sensei John Pat Bullock, who is a 5th Dan Black Belt with over 30 years of martial arts experience, leads the practices.

For more information, call the fitness center at 318.869.5060.