Six Mountain Karate Academy students recently were awarded Black Belt status.

The students, Stevi Lenahan, Brianna Karpowicz, Brittni Smith, Alyssa Smith, Shannon Smith and John Collins, were tested for their Black Belts on Dec. 7, an accomplishment that took over three years of consistent training to achieve. They all had met the requirements long before their testing date.

"The test in a confirmation of their proficiency", says Master Paul Maglionico, one of the owners of Mountain Karate Academy.

The event was celebrated on Monday, January 11, at the school when students were presented with their certifications, before a crowd of fellow students, proud parents, and friends.

The new Black Belts had to be proficient in forms, sparring, breaking, kicks, hand techniques, self-defense, some Korean terminology, and general physical fitness. They also needed to display the character and self-discipline that is evident in an accomplished black belt.

The students went through three hours of testing, and then waited two weeks for approval from the Eastern USA International Martial Arts Association's Grandmaster Kanzler. They all got their news before Christmas.

The EUSAIMAA is based in Pittsburgh, Pa., and has Martial Arts members in 56 different countries.

Mountain Karate Academy offers one free month of karate classes to anyone who might be interested in learning the Art. In addition to Karate classes for ages 3 through adult, they offer Hapkido, Women's Self-Defense, Judo, Weapons, and will soon be adding Aerobic Kickboxing to their schedule. The Academy is also available to visit schools to teach about Bullying and Stranger Danger, and will present to groups at meeting locations for special Self-Defense classes and demonstrations.

Mountain Karate Academy can be contacted through their website