Karate festival shows students self-defense tactics
Thirteen-year-old Cat Farrior has been in karate for six years.
Still, Cat said there is always something else to learn, which is one reason she attended the Martial Arts Festival on Saturday at the American Karate Institute, 3208 Sam Houston Drive.
"I like the festival because so many different styles come together, and they teach so many different things," Cat said. "It is nice to learn all sorts of different techniques and aspects and different ways of looking at situations."
Cat, who also tested for her black belt Saturday, said she needs to learn more about throws, which was one of the many exhibits at the free festival.
Cat passed her test easily, said Ralph Jaschke, an eighth-degree black belt and sensei at the American Karate Institute.
Jaschke has put the event together for the past nine years as a way to get the schools in the surrounding areas together and also to celebrate the students' accomplishments throughout the year.
"They get a chance to see other martial arts, a different perspective, and they get a chance to try things out. It is kind of like a taste party," Jaschke said.
That taste party is exactly why Mark Martin, of Victoria, brought his two sons to the festival.
"The boys are talking about getting into it, and it gives them a chance to see the different styles and will maybe motivate them to get into it," Martin said.
Nathan Martin, 9, excitedly watched the demonstrations from the sidelines.
"I'm learnings lots of tricks - karate, martial arts," Nathan said.
He wants to learn how to do the flips, he said, and get into martial arts.
"They need the discipline, but they also need to know how to protect themselves in our day and age," Martin said.
Cat, who is concerned about increased bullying in schools, agrees.
"I'm learning a lot of new things," Cat said. "It is nice to learn how to get people to stay away from you, if you need to."
Jaschke said at least 10 instructors from different schools came to teach jiujitsu, kali, pressure points, energy, self-defense and weapons.
The schools also tally points from the year's tournaments, and the winning schools take home a trophy from the festival.
Billy's Tae Kwon Do, in Refugio, got first place, Richardson Family Karate, in El Campo, earned second place and Kingsville Martial Arts won third place, Jaschke said.