Lowell Karate Student Takes Second Place in Michigan State Winter Games

Evan Hutchinson only started karate last summer, but he is already excelling in the sport. So much so that he took second place in sparring in his division during the Meijer State Games of Michigan held last month in Rockford.

“I was bored at home and thought it would be something cool to do,” Evan explains when asked why he decided to start karate.

The Lowell Middle School student enrolled in Milton Bushido-Ryu which has a dojo on Main Street, and he has been steadily working his way up the belt ranks.

“He started off as all students do as a white belt and has promoted two times and is now an orange belt,” says Sam Milton, sensei for Milton Bushido-Ryu. “He trains with us for at least two classes a week and also helps out in class as much as possible.”

Evan (center) at the Meijer State Games of Michigan

All that training paid off when he went to the Meijer State Games of Michigan. Competing in the youth novice division, he went through three bouts. His first opponent was another orange belt, and he won that match-up 5-2. Then, he needed to compete against someone with a brown belt, which is a higher level than orange.

When asked if he was nervous about that bout, he says a little but he also knew that belt rank doesn’t necessarily indicate someone’s sparring ability. He ended up winning that round on a score of 5-1.

In the final round, Evan was up against someone who was an orange sash student of kung fu and lost on a 3-5 score.

For someone who has been practicing karate for less than a year, both Evan and his sensei were pleased with his performance. “This is the first tournament for Evan, and he not only performed well in the tournament but he also competed with honor and respect for his competition,” Milton says.

Evan and his sensei, Sam Milton

Evan says that he enjoys karate and learning new things as he moves through the belt ranks. “I hope I can be a green belt in March,” he says.

Then, he plans to compete in another tournament in April. This one will include sparring, open hand kata and weapons kata. And for this favorite part of karate? “I’m best at sparring,” he answers.

As for what else he thinks people should know about this martial art, Evan notes: “It’s not as easy as you might think.” However, he encourages other students to enroll and give it a try.

“You should do it,” he says. “It’s fun, and it’s good for you.”

All photos courtesy of Milton Bushido-Ryu.

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