First-Grade Karate Champ Brings Home the Gold

by Liz Etkin

(May 30, 2007) Murray Avenue first grader and pint-sized karate champ Danny Etkin brought home the gold when he competed last weekend in the New England Open National Karate Championship in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Rated by the North American Sports Karate Association (NASKA), this martial arts event is one of the largest and most prestigious in the country.

Danny Etkin's trophies tower over the first grade karate champion.
In his division, seven year old Danny took first place in the Points Fighting and the Weapons competitions as well as second place in Traditional Form Kata.

Danny has been training under Shihan Donald Lamattina of the Toshindo Karate School in White Plains for the past three years and is currently a third kyu brown belt with the ambitious goal of becoming a junior black belt within the next year.

This month has been a busy one for Danny. In addition to his latest victories, he also took part in the World Goju Tournament at Iona College on April 29, taking two first prizes for his division in fighting and kata. A week later he took home two gold medals in the Karate-Do Invitational Championships at Queens College in both fighting and kata.

Danny's latest success at the New England Open will now give him a national NASKA ranking. NASKA tabulates points for thousands of competitors each year ranging from four-year-old beginner white belts to senior black belts in hundreds of divisions. These tabulated points determine seeding of competitors at world and national tournaments and determine NASKA's end of year World and National champions.

Liz Etkins is Danny's mother.