Zeb Mathis, son of John and Holly Mathis, earned the title of ‘National Champion’ at the 2015 AAU Karate National Championships held in Raleigh, North Carolina over the July 4th weekend, where over 3,500 competitors throughout the United States gathered to compete for national titles.
Zeb earned a 1st Place Gold Medal in Weapons Kata and a 2nd Place Silver Medal in Empty Hand Kata as well as competing in Kumite (Sparring). Zeb trains at Japan Shudokan Budo-Kai Karate School in King, NC 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 events.
Sensei Hewett stated, “Zeb is a dedicated athlete. He not only trains during his regular class, but trains privately twice a day five to six days a week to hone his karate skills. For an eight-year-old who has only been training for 9 months, this shows the maturity, dedication and heart it takes to compete on a national level.”
Zeb now goes on to compete at the 2015 AAU Jr. Olympics held in Chesapeake, VA for a chance at the title of Junior Olympian. The AAU National Karate Organization adheres to strict national and international standards in the judging of sport karate, with athletes having the opportunity to represent the United States in international world cup competitions.
You can find out more about Zeb’s training and Japan Shudokan Budo-Kai at www.jskd.us or on Facebook.