Toledo teens compete for international title

Few teens have experienced the thrill of traveling internationally to compete for a world title. But Toledo’s 14-year-old Hannah Wagner will soon discover the excitement. At the end of the month, she will venture to Dublin, Ireland to compete in the World Karate & Kickboxing Council World Championships, October 31 – November 4. Luckily, she’ll have the close support of her friend and instructor, Brandon Allen, who will also be competing for an international title.

The dynamic duo from American Martial Arts will be representing the US along with up to 100 other fellow countrymen and women. Although Hannah is a little nervous about the competition, she’s glad that her instructor will be going with her. “It’s really cool. He pushes me more than I push myself,” she says. For Brandon, competing with his student, who has been studying at American Martial Arts for seven years, is equally exciting. “Hannah trains hard and she truly cares. She has a devotion to the art; she eats, sleeps, drinks and breathes martial arts,” explains Brandon, who was also 14 when he “broke out” through international competitions.

Because of her devotion to the art and her dedication in “passing down” what she has learned, Hannah will be testing for her second dan by the end of the year. She received her black belt on December 16, 2006. “I like the aspect of martial arts and its way of life,” says Hannah. “I use it in everyday life; the respect, the discipline.”

Fundraisers will be conducted throughout October to raise money for competition expenses. For more information, 419-385-KICK (5425).