Crawford earns black belt

Published 6:28 pm Tuesday, March 28, 2017

On March 4, the Washington Karate Academy held a black belt exam at Athletic Edge. Mike Crawford was the candidate. The test was given out by chief instructor David Warren and his black belt student, Joshua Chandler, who is now a Yandan, or fourth-degree black belt.

Greg Berry, Nidan, or second-degree black belt, and Jazmine Vega, Shodan, or first-degree black belt were both students of Warren’s there to assist with the exam.

The exam lasted three hours. Crawford had 18 katas (forms). Ten were empty-hand katas, and eight were kubudo (weapon) katas.

Crawford illustrated the use of the bo (6-foot staff) with two katas, tonfa with one kata, sai with three katas, tanto (knife) with one kata, and nunchaku with one kata. He also had to recall 20 self-defense techniques that derived from the 18 empty-hand katas. Two of them were defending against a knife, and one defending against a pistol threat.

History of Goju Ryu martial arts, memorization items and sparring were other topics Crawford had to recite and illustrate.

Crawford gave a great display in form knowledge, technique and stamina. He has put in over six years of training at the academy, and was the 27th person to make Shodan.

The first person to reach the rank came in March 1989. The dojo has been in operation since June 1985 and is run by Warren, a Kudan, or ninth-degree black belt.