KARLA McAviney from Donacloney has gained her black belt in martial arts having only taken up the sport six years ago.
It all began when Karla enrolled in a six week fitness course hosted by karate/kickboxing club, Cookstown Mugendo. ‘I really enjoyed the training and at the end of the course wanted to take up the martial art for more fitness,” said Karla.
Karla started in the beginners course and after she achieved her first white belt this goal helped her learn to focus on the martial arts and the different aspects such as competition and black belt excellence. Gaining fitness and technique Karla decided she wanted to test herself further and began fighting on the national circuit.
In 2008 Karla won the National light contact championships and represented Northern Ireland in the World Championships in Florida earning a bronze medal. She is the current WKA full contact champion and for the past 12 months has been training within Cookstown Mugendo Kickboxing Club at the Dojo in Cookstown for the black belt.
The grading Seminar was held over two days in Sligo last weekend under the watchful eye of Mugendo Association of Ireland’s chief instructors Sensei Stewart Beattie 8th Degree Black Belt, Sensei Des Murphy 7th Degree Black belt and Sensei Michael McDermot, 7th Degree Black belt.
Karla was very impressive and with no flaws passed the grading with a first class pass, the highest level possible.
‘I am over the moon to see Karla achieving her black belt,” remarked Sensei Joe Hagan, chief instructor Cookstown MugendoKarate/Kickboxing club. “She is committed and very deserving and has done me very proud.”