The Merrill Karate Club Center of Martial Arts is hoping to send five competitors to the World Organization of Martial Arts Athletes (WOMAA) World Games in Dublin, Ireland in August. The five Merrill students qualified for the World Games and were invited to join Team America after competing at the regional qualifying tournament in Watersmeet, MI, May 4.
Riley Gallagher, age 6, received silver medals in under-12 sparring and 10 and under traditional forms.
Kati Drury, age 8, received a gold medal in 10 and under traditional forms and a bronze medal in under-12 sparring. Kati also competed in the color belt grand championship.
Jacob LePage, age 16, had earned his black belt just a week prior to competing and this was his first black belt tournament. He received a gold medal in traditional forms and took overall forms grand champion. He also received a gold medal in hard contact point sparring and took the black belt sparring grand championship.
Derek Berghammer, age 22, competed in adult intermediate hard contact sparring and, although he was the lowest rank in the division, he received a gold medal. He also competed in traditional weapons for the first time in his martial arts career and received a gold medal. He received a bronze medal in traditional open-handed forms. Derek also competed in the color belt grand championship.
Jon Gartmann, 28, is the owner/chief instructor of Merrill Karate Club Center of Martial Arts. He competed in adult black belt open-handed forms and received a silver medal.
This will be the 14th annual WOMAA world games, with more than 30 countries represented.
The Merrill Karate Club Center of Martial Arts is now in a fundraising frenzy, looking to raise $30,000 by June 21 to cover the cost of the trip to Ireland.
“This is an amazing opportunity for the competitors and their families to go to the life-changing event,” Gartmann said.
Fund raising activities planned include a car wash at the Badger Hotel from 3:30-7 p.m. on May 17, a lock-in/parent night out at the Karate Club on May 24, brat frys at Dave’s County Market on May 24 and June 8, a garage sale at the Karate Club May 31-June 2, a break-a-thon at the Karate Club on June 1, and a banquet dinner at Ed & Sharon’s on June 15.
For more information, contact the Merrill Karate Club Center of Martial Arts at 715-218-7596.