Martial Arts academy takes home golds | SierraSun.com

Martial Arts academy takes home golds

Dan Savickas

For three members of the Matsuyama Martial Arts Academy, a trip to Salem N.C. for this year’s AAU National Karate Championship proved to be highly successful.

Truckee locals Steven Telle, 50, Mackenzie Spaich, 8, and Jonathan Spaich, 6, competed with 2,500 people from all over the United States.

Telle won gold in Kata, form, and Kabudo Kumite, which is weapons sparring. Ten days later, he is still feeling the latter of the events.

Telle started Shito-Ryu karate last September. “I was always intrigued with the martial arts. Then last year I lost 100 pounds, so I was finally able to do it,” Telle said.

“Everyone always sees the punches, kicks and blocks. But they don’t see the mental discipline and the spiritual side,” Telle said.

Mackenzie agreed with Telle completely. “I like how Sensei Will pushes us and helps us get out body stronger,” Mackenzie said. “And to respect our parents,” she quickly added.

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The mental and physical strength obviously helped Mackenzie at Nationals. She swept all of her divisions bringing home three gold medals. Mackenzie won in Kata, form, Kumite, sparring, and Kabudo, weapons.

Kata is by far her favorite, “I do the same Kata at every single tournament,” Mackenzie said.

Although Jonathan Spaich did not metal, he competed very well in his first National Tournament.

Sensei Will Durham was extremely pleased with all of his students. “It was quite an amazing accomplishment. Winning one medal is great, but sweep their divisions is just amazing. We’ve never had that before.”

The Matsuyama Academy will have its next competition down in Long Beach this September.