On Oct. 26, Bellevue Club member and blue belt holder David Gribble, 8, took the bronze medal at the West Coast Open International Martial Arts Championship and followed it up with a second place finish just a few weeks later at the Pacific Northwest Karate-D Classic. Here’s what he had to say about the experience.
Bellevue Club: How long have you been practicing karate?
David Gribble: I’ve been practicing karate for about two years in January.
BC: When did you get your blue belt?
DG: I got it in June, and when I got my blue belt we [fellow students] all got really excited when they said you guys earned your belts.
BC: Can you tell me about getting a bronze medal at the West Coast Open?
DG: For that one, I came in third place for kata [a series of techniques that demonstrate perfect form]. It was really hard because there were a lot of people, and some were older than me and some were younger than me. But I practiced a lot and came in third place.
BC: How did that make you feel?
DG: It made me feel really good. I also came in fourth in kumite [a form of freestyle fighting].
BC: And what about the other recent competition where you placed second?
DG: I improved a lot. I faced a lot of belts that were higher than me, and I even beat them. But there was one yellow belt that beat me because he was doing a black belt kata, and he got everything right. I did get everything right, but I just slipped a little bit.
BC: Do you learn a lot about yourself during the competitions?
DG: Yeah. I’ve always been competitive since I was really little.
BC: What do like about competing?
DG: I just like going really hard. I just want to learn more and go higher and higher and higher. My goal is get a black belt so that’s probably the highest I’m going to get and probably teach sometime.
BC: And where did you first get interested in karate?
DG: One day, I saw some stuff and I thought, Oh karate would be a fun sport to play. So I decided I wanted to get my black belt, and I’ve always been into Japanese culture.
BC: Is anyone in your family from Japan?
DG: My mom is, so that makes me 25 percent because she’s 50 percent.
BC: Have you ever been to Japan?
DG: No, but we’re going to Japan when I’m 16.