Zeb Mathis, son of John and Holly Mathis, has now earned a new title, “Junior Olympian”, winning a Gold Medal in Weapons Kata and a Silver Medal in Kumite (Sparring), he also competed in Empty Hand Kata. Mathis competed in the 8 year old novice/beginner division against others who had as much as two more years of training over him.
After winning Gold and Silver at the AAU National Championships in July, Mathis intensified his training at Japan Shudokan Budo-Kai Karate School in King, under the instruction of Sensei Steven Hewett. The karate school is the only AAU Karate training facility in Stokes County. Sensei Hewett has also had several other students earn national titles at previous AAU Karate National and Jr. Olympic events. He can now add Mathis to the roster of Junior Olympic Champions he has trained.
Sensei Hewett stated, “Zeb is one of my most dedicated athletes he’s trained. He’s taken his training seriously and was extremely motivated by his win at the Nationals in July. Not only did he train twice a day six days a week, but he took it upon himself to even train between classes at home. Zeb was focused on the target of winning a Gold Medal and he went for it. He has a heart of a champion.”
Mathis is now looking to the future to next years AAU Nationals and Junior Olympics, USA-NKF Nationals, as well as, some possible international competition and, of course, earning new belts, which he started by earning a purple belt after returning from the Junior Olympics.