Martial arts is a long standing program at CAC that has garnered a great deal of success in recent years. Seth, our Foreign Language & MMA instructor, writes to tell us more about the program and some of the competitions that CAC children have competed in recently across the country:
“Generally for martial arts and language classes we focus on middle schoolers and high schoolers for any travels as we take them out of the country to train and organize events while sharing the Gospel. Last summer, I had received enough questions and complaints from the 2nd-5th grade martial arts classes that I decided to do something for them. We formed a competition class with our sites set on a big tournament in Atlanta, Georgia last December. We trained hard and prepared with in-house tournaments. We then went and stayed with the the youth pastor from Rennovation Church in Greenville, South Carolina. We also met with a fighter friend from our network of Christian fighters who is now working to organize a fundraiser tournament for us in Louisville, Kentucky on our journey south. While in South Carolina we also met up with Katie and Yeril Lozano who run the church and martial arts school our middle schoolers work with in Nicaragua. They accompanied us to Atlanta on competition day, where Kendrick Hicks, My'Chelle Dotts, and Mykia Dotts cleaned up the competition winning 3 gold medals, 1 silver medal, and 2 bronze against competition from 5 states under the team banner of East Side Jiu Jitsu. We then had a chance to go to Rennovation Church and have dinner with the pastor's family before coming back home!
Motivated by our success in Atlanta, we set our sites on the Submission Only tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This time we stayed with my sister's family in Springfield, Missouri nefore heading down to the tournament. This time we had Kendrick Hicks and Angeleah McGee, and we were chaperoned by Angeleah's mom and her younger sister Alise. Our team did great against competition from another 5 states, bring home 1 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze. On our way back to Springfield, we stopped at the Woolaroc Wildlife Reservation and Native American History Museum. We were up close to a herd of bison, and we also saw elk, deer, and a number of other prairie animals. The next day, we went to Life Quest Church, which sponsors our activities. We were able to pray with them over their merger with a new church, which was a special opportunity to connect with them spiritually.
This last weekend, we went to our biggest competition to date in Dallas, Texas. There were hundreds of kids from all over, and the kids' tournament alone lasted over seven hours! Each division had at least 10-12 kids in the bracket, and they were all tough and talented, many of whom were higher ranks than our kids. My'chelle, Kendrick, and Angeleah stepped up to the competition taking home 3 silver medals. My'chelle and Kendrick were very close to winning gold as they wound up with a tie in their final matches before the referee awarded their opponents the decision. Our total medal count is now at 4 gold, 4 silver, and 3 bronze across 3 states!! Even better, we went to Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose Texas after the tournament where we were able to see the fossilized footprints of therapods and ornithopods in the Paluxey River, where following a conversation about creation, God, and following Christ Kendrick made the decision to be baptized in the shallow part of the river!!! The next day we went to Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas to hear a sermon before headed home.
These trips have been extremely eventful and impactful as our kids not only wreck the competition, but also build relationships across the country. These are memories that will follow them throughout their lives and demonstrate that they can not just dream big, but more importantly do big. We want these kids to know that they can do tremendous things around the world, and that when they go that it is with God's purpose!”