Karla McAviney (nee Quinn) started her journey into martial arts in 2005 after taking up in a six-week fitness course hosted by local karate/kickboxing club, Cookstown Mugendo.
“I really enjoyed the training and at the end of the course wanted to take up the martial art for more fitness,” said Karla, who started into the beginners course and achieved her first white belt.
Achieving this goal helped her learn to focus on the martial arts and the different aspects such as competition and Black Belt excellence.
Gaining fitness and technique, Karla decided she wanted to test herself further and began fighting on the national circuit.
In 2008 Karla won the national light contact championships and represented N.Ireland in the world championships in Florida earning a bronze medal.
She is the current WKA full contact champion and for the past 12 months has been training religiously within Cookstown Mugendo Kickboxing Club at the Dojo in Cookstown for Black Belt.
The grading Seminar was held over two days in Sligo last weekend under the watchful eye of Mugendo Association of Ireland’s chief instructors Sensei Stewart Beattie, 8th Degree Black Belt, Sensei Des Murphy, 7th Degree Black belt, and Sensei Michael McDermot, 7th Degree Black belt.
Karla performed outstandingly and with no flaws passed the grading with a first class pass, the highest level possible.
“I am over the moon to see Karla achieving Black Belt,” said Sensai Joe Hagan, Chief Instructor at Cookstown Mugendo Karate/Kickboxing Club. “She is commited and very deserving and has done me very proud and is now the second Black Belt in Cookstown Mugendo.
“I want to say a big thank you to Sensei Dean Kelly. Sensei Kelly earned the first Black Belt in 2011 for Cookstown Mugendo and has helped out and worked with Karla in her preparation.”