Youngest and Oldest Receive Black Belts

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Two people from the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Academy, Inc. located in Gloucester County, New Jersey received their Black Belts. Jarred Wilkens, 7 years old and Harold Glass, 68 years old received their Black Belt along with forty four other graduates.

Jared Wilkens, seven years old, of Williamstown, NJ and Harold Glass, 68 years old, of Mantua, NJ both received their Black Belts at a graduation ceremony held at the Pitman High School in Pitman, New Jersey.

The black Belts were the youngest and oldest respectively to ever be promoted from the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Academy (OKKA). The two students train with Shihan Brian DeGori at the Pitman location.

The OKKA has four locations throughout the Gloucester County area boasting a student population of nearly one thousand students.

Mr. Wilkens and Mr. Glass joined forty four other students from the academy go through an intensive eight week training process in order to have the opportunity to enter the two-day, eight hour Black Belt Exam. According to the President and Chief Instructor, Brian DeGori, the students may be dropped from the training process at anytime during the eight weeks or the two-day exam for any number of reasons. DeGori says the training is tough and the Academy does not differentiate students based on age. The children go through the exact training process as the adults. The OKKA, which graduates over one hundred Black Belts a year, says this was an extra special event having both the oldest and youngest ever to be promoted at once.

DeGori, a twelve-year veteran of the United States Marines has been teaching martial arts for over twenty years and has had schools in Hawaii, Japan, and several locations around the United States.

The OKKA's goal is to have over five-hundred Black Belt graduates every year according to Seventh Degree Black Belt Ronald Dargan, Mr. DeGori's instructor. We focus on Leadership Development and Character Education and use Martial Arts as the vehicle to teach those concepts. What Mr. Glass and Mr. Wilkens accomplished was a combination of hard work, perseverance and a dedication to Focus, Discipline and Respect.

Both Mr. Glass and Mr. Wilkens plan on continuing their training at the academy and are working towards their second degree Black Belts.

For more information about the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Academy please contact Shihan Brian DeGori at (856) 589 - 5551.


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