Team KIXXX, the competitive martial arts demonstration team from Karate Institute of Mentor, won its second world championship last month. This month, the team will perform at the 2017 Karate Institute Black Belt Extravaganza, to be held at 6:00 p.m. November 18th.
The show will also feature students from Lake and Cuyahoga counties who will receive the coveted black belt after years of hard work and dedication.
“These students have spent years developing themselves into top martial artists, and we are excited to see them obtain this rank,” said Karate Institute owner and eighth-degree black belt Dennis Janes. “We are so proud of their work. At the same time, we are incredibly proud of the two-time world champion Team KIXXX demo team and our students who are ranked nationally as some of the best martial artists in the country.”
These students include Kelly Cunningham, of Mentor, a third-degree black belt candidate who is national weapons champion, and Dominic Bernardinetti, of Wickliffe, world creative weapons champion, in their respective divisions.
They, along with the Team KIXXX creative team, compete in the North American Sport Karate Association.
“I am very excited to have won my first national championship,” said 11-year- old Bernardinetti. “I want to thank all my instructors, especially RJ Davis and Michael Bernardinetti, for all the help they have provided me over the past year.”
The high-energy show will also feature creative, attention-grabbing skits by black belt recipients, a lighted ‘glow weapons’ demonstration and skilled students as young as three years old.
The road to earning a black belt is marked by years of classes, training and competitions, and culminates with a grueling multi-day exam that covers everything martial artists have learned since beginning their studies.
The 2017 third-degree black belt recipients include: Carolyn Berkheimer of Willoughby, Kelly Cunningham of Mentor and Colton Thomas, of Madison. Second-degree black belt recipient Kevin Hardy lives in Painesville. First-degree black belts include Jesse Brink of Painesville, Rocco Pisano of Mentor, and sisters Anya and Amaya Razmi of Beachwood.
Students will also receive their junior black belts. Junior 2 recipients include Anthony Arroyo of Willoughby and Maddie Menchaca, Nick Roski and Anthony Tabone, all of Mentor. Junior 1 recipients include Ralph Fletcher of Euclid, Angelina Quiggle of Mentor and Ava Stockmaster of Willoughby.
“The youth and adults receiving their junior black belts and black belts are great examples of what the martial arts is all about,” said Mercedes Janes, seventh-degree black belt. “They are outstanding, ranked competitors, qualified instructors and leaders in their professions, academics and at the dojo.”
The annual extravaganza, which will be held at the Lakeland Community College Performing Arts Center, will highlight skits choreographed by each of the black belt recipients, as well as members of the Karate Institute demonstration and competition teams. The competitive teams have ranked nationally in competitions, and many of the school’s students are ranked in the top of their divisions.
The youngest students, 3- to 5-year- old Lil’ and Junior Dragons, will also be showing their skills.
Tickets for the show are $10.00 per person in advance or $13.00 at the door and are available by calling (440) 951-0463. More information is available at Karate Institute of Mentor.
Photo opportunities include: “glow weapons” rehearsals, full extravaganza rehearsals and skit rehearsals. To schedule a time, please call Dennis at (440) 951-0463.
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