Four Chun Kuk Do karate students from Beaufort's Club Karate were promoted to the rank of first-degree black belt at a recent regional examination in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Jessica Lehnert, Noah Pate, Melinda Cato and her 13-year-old son Lucas Cato achieved the rank Oct. 18. The four are instructed by Beaufort's Chuck Elias.
Chun Kuk Do is an American style of karate founded by Chuck Norris. Based on the Korean Tang Soo Do, Chun Kuk do incorporates elements of several martial arts along with an understanding of physiology and is organized by the United Fighting Arts Federation.
To earn their black belts, the Club Karate students demonstrated their skills before a panel of five high ranking UFAF black belts, including Elias, an eight-degree black belt.
"Students training in Chun Kuk Do gain a lot more than self-defense skills," said Elias in a release. "Fitness, strength, balance, agility, focus, ... the physical benefits of karate training go far beyond simple self defense."
UFAF Region 7 includes black belts and schools in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. Region 7 testing happens twice a year, and the site rotates among schools. Beaufort's Club Karate will host the next test in April.
Details: Contact Club Karate at 843-252-7283 or www.clubkaratellc.com.
-- Ron Marcell, special to the Gazette