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black belts

Front row, from left: Joseph Slattery, Liam Crimmins, Dashton Bauman, Gabe Wagner, Eddie Johnson, Julia Zeleny, Logan Rosenboom and Ryleigh Forch.

Back row, from left: Nicholas Hemphill, Josiah Christensen, Sanford Wood, Sensei Scott Walls, Walker Wood, Grant Bauman, Tanner Sprouse (assistant instructor), Ken Rihanek and Brandon Imig.

With a combined experience of over 100 years of karate training, 5 students at the Lincoln Karate Clinic were promoted to 2nd-degree black belt and 11 students earned their 1st-degree black belt.

Students were required to perform both a physical phase of the promotion test as well as a written/project phase of their testing. Students also completed camp this summer, culminating with their final testing Aug. 12. 

The following students earned their 2nd degree black belts. They have been training in karate an average of 9 years:

Second degree

Joseph Slattery, a 9th grade student at North Star High School, is also a member of the Excellence Club at LKC. The club is for students with a 4.0 grade point average and high standards of character. Joseph’s project for his black belt was to create a guide for the names of the katas (forms) and their definitions. Joseph’s parents are Ron and Kathy Slattery.

Nicholas Hemphill, a junior at Lincoln East High School, is also a member of the Boy Scouts and a skilled baseball player. Nicholas’ project for his test was to create a poster board for dojo jobs and responsibilities. Nicholas’ parents are Taryn Long and Jack Hemphill.

Logan Rosenboom, an 8th grade student at Mickle Middle School, is the school expert on dojo games and loves to have fun. Logan’s project was to update the game poster used in classes throughout the week. His parents are Jay and Heidi Rosenboom.

Liam Crimmins, an 8th-grade student at Lux Middle School. Liam has enjoyed practicing karate with his two brothers, both of whom are also black belts at the school. Liam’s project was to create a poster that highlights components of the Anti-Bullying program exclusively used at the school. Liam’s parents are Eric and Annie Crimmins.

Josiah Christensen, a sophomore at East High, has been a member of LKC since age 4. He has been an integral member of the karate family at every level from Tigers to Dragons and now a 2nd degree black belt. He is the son of Roy and Ramiel Christensen.

First degree

The following students earned their 1st degree black belts. Each has trained an average of 6 years.

Ryleigh Forch, one of two to test for black belt, is a 9th grader at Lincoln East. Ryleigh also plays softball and has been doing karate with her cousins, Grant, Dashton and Reazin since age 5.  She is a member of the LKC Excellence Club. Her parents are Kris and Steve Forch.

Julia Zeleny, an 8th grader at Lux Middle School, is also a member of the LKC Excellence Club. Julia enjoys helping the younger students at LKC and is also a performer in theatre. Her parents are Sharon and Jonathon.

Gabe Wagner, a 7th-grade student at Lincoln Christian School, started karate as a Tiger. Gabe has an infectious laugh and sense of humor and is loved by everyone at LKC. His parents are Steve and Cindy.

Walker Wood, a 9th-grade student at Lincoln Southeast High School, is a strong academic student with multiple interests. He's practiced karate with his older brother Sanford since he was in elementary school. His parents are Matt Wood and Traci Sanford.

Sanford Wood, a sophomore at Lincoln High School, participating in the International Baccalaureate Program, and is considered a strong academic student with varied interests. He is also the son of Matt Wood and Traci Sanford.

Ken Rihanek, a freshman at Lincoln North Star High School, has been doing karate since he was in elementary school. Ken is considered an excellent technician of karate and quickly learns movement formats. His parents are Luke and Jane Rihanek and Mandy Rihanek-Parker.

Grant Bauman, a freshman at East High, has been doing karate with his younger brother, sister and cousin since he was very young. He is considered a strong karate practitioner which embodies the true idea of black belt. Grant is the son of Nikki and Jeffrey Bauman.

Dashton Bauman,  a 7th grade student at Lux Middle School, is also an athlete in several other sports. Dash started karate when he was only 3 years old. He is also the son of Nikki and Jeffrey Bauman.

Brandon Imig, a sophomore at East High, been has coming to karate lessons on a weekly basis since he was in elementary school. Brandon has “endured, sweat and paid the price” to earn his black belt. His parents are Lisa and Craig Imig.

Eddie Johnson, an 8th-grade student at Waverly Middle School and is perceived as a very dedicated and talented karate student as well as other sports. His parents are Todd and Tiffany Johnson.

Kyle Fegley, a sophomore at Lincoln Northeast. Kyle has grown into a very strong, skilled but patient and kind karate practitioner and possesses excellent leadership qualities, his instructor said. His parents are Jenifer and Chad Fegley.


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