Yasuaki Nagatomo, chief instructor of the Japan Karate Association of New Mexico, led attendees as they practiced their skills in preparation for upcoming tournaments.
“You can’t turn your mind off,” Nagatomo said as he was instructing the camp attendees.
Senior Maria-Adriana Rojas, the club president, said this weekend’s activities helped them to learn what judges are looking for, what makes karate look good and how to master both performance and skill.
Rojas said ever since she was little, she was interested in martial arts, but did not pursue this interest until her first year at UNC.
“At FallFest, Shotokan Karate caught my eye — I went to the first few meetings and have been coming back ever since, because I loved it,” she said.
She said karate has helped her in many aspects of her life other than self-defense.
“There’s a lot of emphasis on focus and perseverance, and also learning and teaching at all levels, knowing that you can learn from younger students as well as older, more advanced students,” Rojas said. “I’ve gained confidence. I feel like I can handle my body better because it’s helped me with my coordination.”
Like Rojas, first-year Wayne Ruan said UNC Shotokan was his first exposure to karate.