Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Young Bellevue Club Member Racks Up Martial Arts Medals

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.

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