Bryan College's Zak Barnes Wins Kata and Kumite Titles

  • Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Zak Barnes, the director of Bryan College’s Martial Arts Academy, clinched Grand Champion titles in Kata and Kumite at the Middle Tennessee Isshinryu Open Karate Games this past weekend (hosted by The Lebanon Dojo).

Barnes, who has overseen Bryan College’s martial arts program for several years, took first place overall in adult kata. This event emphasizes the execution of patterns and movements in karate. Barnes’ skills earned him the top spot among many competitive practitioners across the region. Moreover, Barnes performed admirably in Kumite, the sparring category that entails intense, controlled combat. Barnes’ dedication led to him securing both Grand Champion titles.

The team from Bryan College, comprised of David Holcomb, Zak Barnes, Daniel Koehn, and Laura Neff, showcased their prowess by emerging victorious in the team fighting competition. “I feel very blessed,” Barnes said, “to have achieved favorable outcomes in both instances. However, fighting alongside my team – which includes my first black belt promotion, my fiancée, and my mentor – was the highlight of the day for me.”

These triumphs represent personal victories and significant milestones for Bryan’s team. Under Barnes’ guidance, the academy has thrived, drawing in students who aspire to learn martial arts in a Christian environment. His dual championships and the team’s success are sure to motivate students and enhance the academy’s standing.

Scott Shamblin, a 9th-degree black belt and the academy’s off-site advisor, expressed his contentment with these achievements. “Sensei Barnes’ triumph is well-earned. It's uncommon for a practitioner to claim Grand Championships in both kata and fighting. Mr. Barnes’ victories reflect the well-rounded performances of the entire Bryan team.”

The academy’s success at MTIOKG underscores the caliber of instruction at Bryan College and the potential for students to excel under its leadership. As the team returns to campus adorned with their titles, their enthusiasm is infectious. Through these recent successes, Barnes perpetuates a legacy in the martial arts realm, inspiring a new generation of martial artists to excel both on and off the mat.

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