A bunch of kids from San Jose del Monte, Bulacan could be the next future of Philippine karate.
The country’s karate grassroots program has discovered a new breed of potential talents in Steven Jhudiel Morales, Solara Uriel Morales, and Zemira Zaigen Gawad Daz, who may excel in local to international arenas someday.
They are members of the prestigious International Shotokan Karate Federation-Philippine Shotokan Karate Federation-San Jose Del Monte Bulacan (ISKF-PSKI SJDM Bulacan)—one of the active clubs affiliated with the Karate Pilipinas.
“They really wanted to follow in the footsteps of our Sensei Adora Aquino, a former national team karate member,” coach Mary Anne Guillermo, a Karate Pilipinas licensed coach, said.
Steven Jhudiel Morales, 12, one of the most accomplished young fighters of the ISKF-PSKI SJDM Bulacan, was a recent Karate Pilipinas National Championships kata and kumite gold medalist at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
He also dominated the kumite and kata divisions of the ISKF-PSKI Olongapo Karatedo Championships last June, and the 3rd ABR Cup Karate Championships Intermediate Kata, where he won the 12-13-year-old and 14-15-year-old boys’ gold.
The eight-year-old Solara won the recent kata girls’ gold medal in the 3rd ABR Cup Karate Championships while also bagging the silver in the team kata, silver in the kumite, and bronze in the team kumite.
Promising 8-year-old Zemira Zaigen Gawad Daz also captured the silver medal in the kata 6-7-year-old division of the ISKF-PSKI Olongapo Invitational Karatedo Championships also last June.
She also took home the team and individual kata silver medals and individual kumite silver during the 3rd ABR Cup Karate Championships recently.
“These kids will grow with a lot of potentials to become the next Junna Tsukii and possibly become world champions someday. At a young age, they really showed great improvements from time to time,” Guillermo added.
“With proper training and mindset, their dream to become national team members and bring pride to our country may soon become a reality. They just have to be supported by their respective parents, too.”
Other members of the club are 13-year-old Nicel Ezra Villegas and 14-year-old Julia Claret Bintulan, who also brought home a lot of different kata and kumite medals from the Batang Pinoy national competitions in 2018 and 2019.
The campaign of the ISKF-PSKI SJD is supported by the local government unit (LGU) headed by City Mayor Arthur Robes, Dr. Dennis Booth and Luis Gutierrez.