By T. Scott Boatright
It is important that karate can be practiced by the young and old, men and women alike. -— Gichin Funakoshi
That renowned quote by the founder of Shotokan karate-do who is considered a “father of modern karate” goes a long way in the thinking of Buster Cotten, Sensei of Cotten’s Karate in Jonesboro was proven at the 2022 United State Karate Alliance World Championships held in New Orleans on July 21-24.
Cotten’s Karate sent 17 of its students to the event, and that group of members running from 5-years-old to their mid-50s captured more than 50 wins.
“We primarily compete on the U.S. Karate Alliance (USKA) tournament circuit,” said Cotten. “The history of the USKA can be traced all the way back to 1948 under the founder Robert Trias who formed the first national karate organization and is recognized as the “Father of Karate in America.
“Our members compete year-round, with many of our students primarily competing locally within the Louisiana and Texas region, and we have several that travel out seeking competition. Just within the last year, we’ve had several members travel and compete in Indianapolis, Chicago, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Andalusia, Alaska, in addition to all the local events in the Texas and Louisiana region.”
Three Cotten’s Karate members who have made the USKA National Team will travel to Columbus, Ohio over Labor Day weekend to represent the USKA at the Professional Karate Commission International Championships.
“We’ve had several students that competed throughout the past year and were recognized at the National Awards Ceremony that was held in New Orleans on July 23,” Cotten said. “Our young competition team finished “Runner-up Team of the Year” this season. We hope to finish on top next season.
“Many of our students trained hard for this event with some training as many as 10-15 hours weekly preparing for this event. My personal opinion about competition is that you need to compete for the challenge. Challenges whether young or old will make you stronger and better. If you win, keep training because there is someone out there that is better and when you meet them they will win. If you lose, regroup and figure out what our weaknesses are and correct it through training. Consistent success in competition is a measure of one’s skill — just my opinion.”
After that strong showing in New Orleans, Cotten said his members are looking forward to the upcoming tournament season, with their next major event being the Louisiana State Championships on October 29 at Louisiana Tech’s Lambright Center.
“We plan to have a good group to represent,” Cotten said.
Following are the results of the 15 local youth from Cotten’s Karate that competed recently in the 2022 United State Karate Alliance World Championships:
Second in Self Defense first in Team Weapons; Second in Team Kata; Second in Ippon sparring; Second in Weapons; Fourth in Kata; Third in Sparring
National Points standings: 10-11 advanced boys — Second in kata and sparring ; 12 and under weapons — Third
Second in Team Sparring; Third in Ippon sparring; Second in Chanbara; Second in Sparring
National Points standings: 6-7 beginner Second in kata and sparring
Second Team Sparring; Third in Ippon sparring; Fourth Individual Sparring
National Points standings: 8-9 yr beginner — Sixth place in kumite; Ninth in kata
National Points standings: 5 and under beginner Fifth in kata
Grand Champion Youth Weapons; Second 16-17 Adv. Kata, weapons and sparring; Second in team sparring
National Points standings: Second 14-17 weapons; Second 14-15 advanced Kata; Second 14-15 advance kumite
First in team weapons, team kata self-defense, second in kata and weapons
National Points standings: 12-13 M/F Advanced Kata Second in kata; Second in kumite; Third in weapons
Second in team fighting Fourth in weapons Second ippon sparring and Second in fighting
National Points standings: 16-17 Intermediate/advanced; Second in kate; First in kumite; Second in weapons
National point standings: 8-9 beginner Fifth in kumite; 7th in kata
Second in sparring; Third in ippon sparring
National Points standings: Intermediate 8-9 Eighth place in kata; Sixth in kumite
Second in team sparring, Third in chanbara
National Points standings: 6-7 beginning: Ninth place in kumite
Second in kata and sparring, Second in ippon sparring
National Points standings: 5 and under beginners; Second in kata and sparring
Second in kata and sparring; Fourth in Ippon sparring
National Points standings – Intermediate Men: Third in kata; Fourth in kumite
Second in Ippon sparring; Third in sparring
National Point Standings: Black Belt men 10th place in kata
Second Sparring; Second weapons; Second Kata; Second Ippon sparring; Second Chanbara; Fourth team kata
National points: Second weapons / beginner 6-7; Second Kata / beginner 6-7; Second weapons / 6 under
Second Ippon sparring; Fourth 14-15 M/F Intermediate/Advanced Kata; Third Self Defense; Second 14-17 Teen Weapons
National Point Standings: 12-13 M/F Intermediate Kata; Fifth in kata; Second in kumite
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