August 21, 2003 – Local martial artists Richard Pearson, Kirstin Barton and Doug Lozier took top honors in international competition this month at the American Federation of Martial Arts Championship XV competition held in Newark, New Jersey.
Pearson, owner and Sensei of the St. Thomas Institute of Martial Arts, took first place in Kata competition in the fifth degree black belt and above division. Kata, or "forms", are sets of prearranged defenses which, when taken together, constitute the bulk of the shotokan karate fighting system, according to a Kata related webpage maintained by the Tufts University karate club.
Kristin Barton, an assistant instructor at the institute and the lone woman competitor in her age group, won second place in Kata competition, while Doug Lozier placed first in his division in Kata and third in sparring.
Pearson said in a release that he believes practicing martial arts instills confidence, patience, perseverance and character, and that these are the virtues he hopes to instill in the students he teaches at his downtown Charlotte Amalie institute.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.