Jacob Pichhadze won two silver medals at the National Karate Championships held by the American Federation of the Japan Karate Association recently in New Orleans where the 13-year-old tested himself against a deep pool of talent.
Pichhadze took the silver in both Kata, which has the athlete competing against himself as he performs detailed choreographed patterns of movements and in Kumite where two competitors square off. “It was a great challenge I enjoyed very much,” Jacob Pichhadze said. “I wanted to see how I could do against the field of American competitors, I am very proud of both medals, but I want to do better.”
A first-Degree black belt, Pichhadze has been practicing karate since the age of four in Toronto under Sensei Valery Gavrielov (6th Dan), a former Israeli champion. When the family moved to Montreal three years ago, Pichhadze continued his studies under Sensei Stacy Ungar (5th Dan) in Cote St. Luc. “What has made karate his activity of choice is the discipline, philosophy and skills that he utilizes not only in training and competitions but in everyday life. Looking ahead, Pichhadze is aiming for the World Championships set for Japan in 2020 and to compete in the Maccabiah Games. What he feels he needs to do to stand on the top of the podium is to, “increase my focus strength and power for both Kata and Kumite,” Pichhadze said. “For Kumite I want to be able to create openings (against an opponent) and not be predictable in my moves.”
Beside honing his skills and maintaining good grades at school, Pichhe and yellow belt students, which includes his five-year-old sister Hannah. “I have fun with that and they all are pretty good students,” he said. “I get to give back that way in a sport that I think will be part of my life for a long time.”