EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A local martial arts class is headed to Italy next month and children as young as 9 years old will be representing the borderland.

Alchemy Karate has been around since 1999 but the school in El Paso has been open since 2007. Every year the martial arts team competes in a championship.

However, this time they’re heading to Venice, Italy to participate in the upcoming WACO Olympics. 

Alchemy Karate students are not just your typical kids fighting for fun but fighting to become someone in life. With the help of their instructor, they have gained a lot of confidence to reach one of their biggest goals.

There is the learning of number of things from life skills to gaining confidence and how to defend themselves if someone tries to attack them. With non-stop training during the week, these mighty fighters will be against 69 other countries in September. 

Although Alchemy Karate has ranked second place in the past tournaments, Alchemy Karate instructor Laco Villanueva says it shows how much hard work they’ve put in. In the beginning of this year, the martial arts class went to Tennessee for try outs and made it on to become the next champions.

“We teach them karate but we work on confidence, respect, goal setting, life skills which is going to help them become leaders in life,” Villanueva said. “We train for at least an hour, like I said Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday’s and Sunday’s a little longer. It’s a lot of dedication, discipline, focus because it takes a lot from the parents also. So, It’s not just the kids, you know we are working on leaders but we’re working on teamwork also: parents, instructors,” Villanueva said. 

Elias Canarana, 9, is one of the younger kids in the martial arts karate class and is looking forward to bringing the championship back to Sun City. 

“I really wanted to fight the best of the best and other countries and the different ways they fight. Getting more confident and making the best out of it and physically training everyday,” Canarana said.

Villanueva says it’s not only about the tournaments but about the experience and life-long lessons his students learn along the way. If you’re a little one who would like to join the karate team and become the next champion, you can click here to sign up. Children as young as 4-years-old can enroll. 

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