No longer fledgling, Sport Karate Arrives For Real in the Central Lakes Area
Lightning strikes twice maybe, but hard work and dedication to purpose wins karate championships. And the 2020-2021 Pan American virtual games proved that fact as Brainerd, MN sport karate heroes took center stage on WKC championship podiums for a second year in a row as a one of its kind in Minnesota dojo plans to open in Little Falls, MN despite pandemic conditions. In short, Team Ascension Martial Arts has a safe plan to get kids back on the sport karate mat, and are hopeful to get rural tournaments going in Minnesota for the first time ever.
Adding to Brent Haney's world stage medal successes from 2019 and 2020 prior to coronavirus, Haney retained his champ status in creative weapons while taking home his first international gold in Korean forms. This win adds to his bronze world title earned in 2019 from the WKC World Championships held in Niagara Falls just a year ago to date. Haney also took home the silver in traditional weapons.
"Competing allows us to put into practice what we learn at our home dojos, and it is so important to building that promised confidence and discipline that instructors talk about in their classes," remarked Haney when asked about the secret to his success. "Without the tournaments, how do you know that what you are learning in class is correct? Essentially, tournaments provide a venue for impartial judges from all over to critique your technique and rank you against peers from all over. And that's how I know I have the best teachers in the world. If I win, it is really their win. They taught me everything I know. And my instructors from Minnesota all the way to Guatemala always made sure I was ready. I owe them everything."
"And that's how I know I have the best teachers in the world. If I win, it is really their win too. They taught me everything I know, invested in me, and worked me hard so I could be the best version of myself."
This year Haney was not alone in bringing home international wins and the accompanying 'hardware,' the word he uses to describe the medals and trophies Team Ascension brings home from events. Little sister Lizzie Lion VIP was right on his heals with a silver place win in the 10 and under black belt divisions in traditional weapons. This was Lizzie Haney's first year competing in the pro divisions, and her exuberance for the sport is catchy.
"I love karate!," Lizzie responded when asked about what drives her to compete. "It is so fun to be recognized for doing all the stuff you were supposed to and know you did it right because they give you stuff! I also love to make friends from all over the world, and I have the coolest coaches...ever. They are funny and fun and hanging out with them is the best part of my day! They like to say we are family, and I think we are."
Next up Team Ascension will be found rounding out their international competition year in virtual tournaments that are sponsored out of Mexico as well as New York. In fact, the team was most recently featured on one of the New York advertising posters for KTOC International.
Practice schedules continue each day in support of these competitors’ efforts, and the community is invited to get involved now virtually, especially with coronavirus still raging. As social distancing and masks remain our best defense against the coronavirus, Haney says there is no need to grow unfit and bored at home or risk your life and the life of others going out. There is no need for homeschoolers to feel isolated when there is an inexpensive way to join in on zoom classes every day online. "We practice every night with our instructors from Guatemala," said Brent Haney. "They come into our homes each night via zoom, and we practice just as hard as if we were in fact in a dojo. The nice part about virtual is we get to eat at home now instead of stopping for fast food just because training ran late. Or, since we are in Minnesota, weather or scheduling or travel distance is now no longer an issue for getting to practice. Practice comes to you at your convenience! And it is convenient and saves a lot of time to not have to drive an hour in snow and back to get to the gym or back at home. Like I said, I really like getting to eat dinner at home when I train virtually, and it only takes pushing the coffee table back and making a phone call to get involved."
For more information about the team or the coaches that support them, Haney recommends sending him a quick text at 218 513 5816 or looking at their website and sending a message at www.teamascensionmn.com. Multiple options for participation are available for every person's budget and time for the sport. "Just get involved. We have full time and part time options available that fit every budget. It is a sport that lasts your whole life that the whole family can do together if they want to. Karate can bring a family together. Try it!"
And the people investing in both Haney children hope the public will once again show an interest in getting out and about come early Spring with a vaccine on the way. Team Ascension will for the first time open its doors in Little Falls, MN and invite the public to train with world champions from across the globe in person and virtually.
“We have a unique platform to service a community that frequently experiences bad weather,” said Brent. “Even if there were no coronavirus, some people have difficult schedules that make it hard to get to a training facility. Online and with no purchase of karate equipment we can bring the dojo to your home each night while live classes are going on at our new training facility. We do that right now. We offer classes virtually all the way to black belt with IOSTK (International Organization of Sport and Traditional Karate) backing us up. What does that mean? It means we are the real deal. We are offering the public a program that is world class level so that if your son or daughter has a martial arts Olympic dream they don’t have to be excluded—we can help them.”
Haney urges anyone interested in getting involved with online martial arts to contact him personally at 218 513 5816 or to visit the team’s website at www.teamascensionmn.com.