Ariela Borjon, age 9, first attended a Lonsdale Karate session about six months ago. After that, she was hooked. Her mother, Christina Borjon, said that Ariela puts 100 percent into it, and one might say she’s also “a natural.”
“She loves pretty much everything that has to do with karate,” said Christina Borjon.
Ariela Borjon took home five trophies on June 16 after competing in a martial arts tournament at the Church of the Immaculate Conception Civic Center in Lonsdale, earning one trophy in each competition she entered.
It was the first tournament of its kind to be held in the community. Tim Jurgens, chief instructor of Lonsdale Karate, said that they hope to make it an annual event. He said that the tournament included 75 martial artists from a variety of schools. More than 20 of the Lonsdale students competed in the event.
“We are very happy with the turnout, both in numbers and in the quality of the schools that showed up,” said Jurgens, who himself holds sixth and fifth degree black belts in karate and kobudo.
He and his wife Mikako Jurgens, a second degree black belt, teach classes regularly through Lonsdale Karate.
“We are really proud of our students,” said Mikako Jurgens.
Their classes include individuals as young as 4 to middle-aged students.
Deanna deLeon, an adult in the class, is as enthusiastic about martial arts as Borjon.
“I’ve always loved martial arts,” she said, “I mean, loved them.”
She began dabbling in martial arts as a teen, but became serious about karate in recent months.
“I live and breathe karate,” she said.
So much so that she drives to Lonsdale after work to attend Lonsdale Karate classes, although she lives in Minneapolis. She said that despite having a selection of places to find training within a few miles of her home, she comes to Lonsdale because she likes the teaching and the welcoming atmosphere there. She said that Tim Jurgens and his family are very supportive.
“Their dedication and passion... I’m just in awe of it,” said deLeon. “It makes me that much more passionate about it.”
She said that people came from all over southern Minnesota and some from other states for the tournament last weekend. Tim Jurgens said that martial artists participated in variety of competitions, including sword sparring, grappling, team forms and jujitsu. The local competitors earned several first place finishes.
Jacqueline A. Pavek covers news in the Lonsdale area. She can be reached at 507-744-2551. Follow her on Twitter @JackiePavek.
Jacqueline A. Pavek covers news in the Lonsdale area. She can be reached at 507-744-2551.
Follow her on Twitter @JackiePavek.