Ai enrolled at Championship Martial Arts in Deland at age five and has been attending ever since, often four days a week. By the time she was into her second year, she had shown enough skill at karate that she was participating in demonstrations at fairs, nursing homes and downtown parades. She was also invited to join the school’s competitive team to compete in local and regional tournaments. In nearly four years of tournament competitions, Ai has accumulated dozens of trophies and medals, including a first place in her age bracket for creative weapons at the International Sports Karate Association (ISKA) U.S. Open tournament at Disney in July, 2014. But Ai’s crowning achievement was earning her junior black belt later, on September 27th. At age nine, she was the youngest person ever to earn a black belt in the school’s 20-year history.
St. Barnabas Episcopal School is an accredited private school located in DeLand, Florida.