Posing at the Uechi Ryu World Cup for Peace Miami June 16 are, from left, Stephanie Barber, 11, of Largo; Sensei Grace Haeusler of Largo; Sara Castro, 7, of Venezuela; Sensei Luis Castro and Joseph Conrad, 10, of Largo. The three students are pictured with their medals in kata: Barber with silver, Castro with gold and Conrad with bronze.
LARGO – Two students from Largo and their teacher brought home medals from the fifth annual Uechi Ryu World Cup for Peace Miami June 16.
For almost eight months, the students have studied uechi-ryu, a style of Okinawan karate, under sensei Grace Haeusler, a fourth-degree black belt in the art. The competition tested participants in kumite, or sparring, and kata, dance-like movements of powerful karate techniques.
Joseph Conrad, 10, who trains at Highland Recreation Complex, won a gold medal for kumite and a bronze medal for kata. Stephanie Barber, 11, trains at Southwest Recreation Complex and won gold for kumite and silver for kata.
Haeusler was awarded two gold metals in both kumite and kata. She is the chief instructor of uechi-ryu at both Highland and Southwest, a role she said is “an honor and privilege.”
“Supporting the Community in diverse ways is imperative for the constructive growth of our cities and its citizens,” she stated.
Karate has a long history all over the world for building the highest level of character when fully practiced and understood. Children, beginning at age 4, and adults can learn the secrets of uechi-ryu at Largo’s recreation centers.
For more information on how to get involved, call Christina at 587-6740, ext. 5008 or log onto www.PlayLargo.com.