Christopher and Caitlin Holland defended themselves April 25 from a baseball bat, a stick, a knife and a pistol to become the first set of twins to earn Karate Tech black belts in the KMC.
But, that’s not all they did in the hour-long belt testing.
They demonstrated 150 self-defense maneuvers, the seven Karate Tech forms, answered essay questions and each had to create their own form.
Caitlin designed a creative form that she named Black Dragon. Christopher made a creative staff form that he called Eagle Claw.
Before even being allowed to test for the black belt, Caitlin and Christopher had to complete many tasks.
These prerequisites had to be completed one week prior to the actual test, said the twins’ instructor, Grand Master Jorge Ordonio, who is the president and founder of Karate Tech Mixed Martial Arts.
Each youth had to run two miles in less than 25 minutes and run a 50-yard dash in less than 10 seconds, spar five opponents – three minutes per opponent with a 30-second rest in between, complete 25 pushups and 25 sit-ups, and demonstrate all the kicks they learned from the white- to black-belt levels.
They had to know all the Karate Tech school rules by heart and demonstrate self discipline, self respect, self confidence, self esteem and self control.
“It’s not just kicking and punching,” said Grand Master Ordonio, who founded Karate Tech in Landstuhl in 1997. “A black belt is everything you do in life. It stays with you the rest of your life, and you’re setting an example for the citizens – they want to be.. like that.”
Karate Tech is the creation of Grand Master Ordonio, who said it is American and traditional karate, mixed with “all the art” he has studied through the years. He said this art ranges from tae kwon do to kick boxing.
He teaches Karate Tech on Landstuhl, Ramstein and Vogelweh. The Landstuhl classes are a part of the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern’s School of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills, a program from the Army’s Family Covenant.
The youths are also on the Karate Tech demonstration team – Christopher has been part of the weapons team for the past two years, and Caitlin the self-defense/kicking team for one year. Christopher has taken Karate Tech since he was 5 years old, and Caitlin started when she was almost 7 years old. For the past year, both have taken classes four nights a week, plus they have assisted adult instructors in at least one class a week to learn how to be a sensei (a karate teacher) and teach others.
Caitlin is the 2009 World Organization of Martial Arts Athletes world champion for girls 9 and under in sparring. Christopher is the 2009 WOMAA world champion for boys 9 and under in weapons forms.
The twins’ mother, Penny Holland, likes what her children take away from the classes.
“I am pleased that personal discipline, respect and responsibility are traits emphasized and given priority over martial arts skills in Karate Tech,” she said.
Since the program began almost two years ago, classes offered by the garrison’s Child, Youth and School Services’ SKIES program range from dancing to horseback riding. To find out about the garrison’s SKIES classes, visit http://www.mwrgermany.com/KL/KLCYS/skies_classes.html.
The Covenant represents a $1.4 billion Army commitment to improve quality of life for military families, especially those experiencing multiple deployments.