Kaelyn swept all eight North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA) titles for 2011. The awards ceremony was held in Chicago last week. The 9-year-old competed as a black belt on the NASKA World Tour.
Her father Jim said in an email that Kaelyn's biggest challenge in 2011 was her Musical Extreme Forms, ages 13 and under. He said after several second and a third place finish earlier in the year, Kaelyn needed to win the last few tournaments of 2011 in order to secure the world championship sweep.
Jim said it all came down to the Pan American Internationals in Miami Beach on Nov. 11 and 12, the final NASKA international karate competition of 2011.
"Unfortunately, Kaelyn broke her ankle while running in PE class just five weeks prior to the competition," said Jim in an article in Kaelyn's school paper. "She insisted on training with her leg in a 'boot,' but it was clear that she would be unable to get any substantive training done before the tournament. Given the major interruption to her training, it didn’t look like she had a chance of succeeding. But she arrived in Miami Beach looking confident and determined."
Kaelyn did compete too.
"All eyes were on Kaelyn as she bowed in, music blaring from the loudspeakers. Then Kaelyn took command of the room putting everything she had into her performance. Her determination to win was easily visible and incredibly moving. Her punches, strikes, kicks, and flips, all synched to the music, came out the best she could do – and, in the end, it was enough. She secured the required win with all judges scoring 9.99," added her dad.
Kaelyn's goal for 2012, do it again!