[KHTS] – Santa Clarita karate school, Zanshin Shotokan Karate, competed in Fullerton, CA last Sunday with all 9 team members finishing in the top three of their events, according to a press release from Zanshin Shotokan.
The team’s performance has qualified each member for the national tournament and karate team trials in Reno, Nevada, hosted by the USA National Karate Federation from Jul. 10 to 13, according to the release.
Rocky Whatule, the owner of Zanshin Shotokan Karate, qualified in two events in the Men’s Elite Black Belt Division and said he is happy with his team’s performance and excited to compete with them at the national event in July.
“I am beyond proud of my students and what they have accomplished so far,” Whatule said in the release. “Just to qualify for the Nationals is an honor and incredible achievement.”
Whatule’s participation marks his 25th year of competition, but this is the first national event he has qualified for since retiring in 2005, according to the release.
This is the first time Santa Clarita is to be represented at the USA national tournament, according to the release.
Michael Shanklin, a resident of Saugus, qualified for the national event along with his children Stephen Shanklin and Hannah Shanklin. The 3 plan to compete together in Reno this July.
“It is such an honor to qualify for nationals, but I am so excited to take my kids and compete as a family in Reno” Shanklin said in the release.
Whatule’s son, 5-year-old Remington Whatule, also competed with his father’s team in Fullerton. Remington won 1st place in two separate events for his division, including Kumite, a competition in which the participants face-off against one another.
“All of my students are like family to me, and it was so exciting to coach my own 5-year-old, who was undefeated in his Kumite matches,” Whatule said in the release.
In addition to those previously mentioned, Tony Chavez, Josiah Bergman, Fernando Ledesma, and Lake Peterson also qualified for the USA national event for their respective divisions, according to the release.
For more information on Zanshin Shotokan Karate and Team Zanshin, check them out online atwww.zshotokan.com or visit the school at 20605 Valley St. Newhall, CA 91321.