By Christine JuneApril 29, 2009
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- Christopher and Caitlin Holland defended themselves Saturday from a baseball bat, stick, knife and pistol to become the first set of twins to earn Karate Tech black belts in the KMC.
But, that's not all they did in the hour-long belt testing.
They demonstrated 150 self-defense maneuvers and the seven Karate Tech forms and answered questions on an essay they wrote.
Still more as they each had to create their own form. Caitlin designed a creative form that she named "Black Dragon." Christopher did a creative staff form that he called "Eagle Claw."
Again, that's not all they did because they had to fulfill several prerequisites for the privilege to test for the black belt.
These prerequisites had to be done one week prior to the actual test, said the twins' instructor, Grand Master Jorge Ordonio, who is the president and founder of Karate Tech Mixed Martial Arts.
What the twins had to get out of the way was running two miles in less than 25 minutes and a 50-yard dash in less than 10 seconds, sparring five opponents - three minutes, 30-second rest - completing 25 pushups, 25 sit-ups and all the kicks they learned from white- to black-belt levels.
"With only a water sip break in between," said the twins' mother, Penny Holland.
There was even more they had to do.
They had to know all the Karate Tech school rules by heart. They had to demonstrate self-discipline, self-respect, self-confidence, self-esteem and self-control.
"It's not just kicking and punching," said Ordonio, who founded Karate Tech in Landstuhl in 1997. "A Black belt is everything you do in life. It stays with you the rest of your life, and you're setting an example for the citizens - they want to be also like that."
Both are on the Karate Tech demonstration team - Christopher is on the weapons team for the past two years, and Caitlin is on the self-defense/kicking team for a year. Christopher has taken Karate Tech since he was five years old, and Caitlin started when she was almost seven years old. For the past year, both have taken classes four nights a week, plus they have assisted adult instructors in at least one - usually two - classes a week. Their mother said this was to learn how to be a sensei (a karate teacher) and teach others.
Caitlin is the 2009 World Organization of Martial Arts Athletes World Champion for girls nine and under in sparring. Christopher is the 2009 WOMAA World Champion for boy's nine and under in weapons forms.
"I am pleased that personal discipline, respect and responsibility are traits emphasized and given priority over martial arts skills in Karate Tech," Holland said.
Karate Tech is the creation of Ordonio, who said it is American Karate coming from traditional Karate and is mixed with "all the art" he has studied through the years. He said this art ranges from Taekwondo to Kickboxing.
He teaches Karate Tech on Landstuhl, Ramstein and Vogelweh. The Landstuhl classes are a part of the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern's School of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills, a program from the Army's Family Covenant.
Since the program began almost two years ago, classes offered by the garrison's Child, Youth and School Services' SKIES program range from dancing to horseback riding. To find out about the garrison's SKIES classes, visit http://www.mwrgermany.com/KL/KLCYS/skies_classes.html.
(Editor's Note: Christine June writes for the USAG Baden-WAfA1/4rttemberg newspaper, the Herald Post.)