Karate competition returns for the first time since the start of the pandemic
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) – More and more events are returning after the COVID-19 closures began two years ago. On Saturday in Ocean Springs, this included a karate competition bringing together participants from across the southeast.
Punches, kicks and all techniques associated with martial arts were on display at the Ryan Youth Center. Mack Williams, 11, of Ocean Springs, walked away with a collection of medals.
“The hardest part was challenging other people who were really, really good,” Williams said.
Derek Pruitt with Priutt’s Martial Arts hosted the AAU District Championships. According to Pruitt, this is the first time since 2020 that the competitors have been able to show off their skills.
“It’s actually the first competition we’ve been able to do and we chose to come to the coast and bring it here,” Pruitt said. “Most of the students competing haven’t been able to compete for two years, so it’s a big deal for us to be here competing.”
Trophies were up for grabs for competitors of all ages. Joshua Abbott came from Memphis and his whole family participated.
“Karate is something that brings people and families together,” Abbott said. “We always say that families who stick together stay together. You can still do it, we have in the national divisions which are for the over 60s, and in the world championships this year there is a division for the over 60s.
With the first competition in over two years under their belt, the rust is off and the competitors are ready to start again.
“I know I still have things to work on, but I feel good,” Williams said.
Some of the competitors are now moving on to regional championships in Louisiana, from there they can move on to world championships.
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