N. Michigan Teen Competes In World Martial Arts Games for Second Time
A Northern Michigan boy is the only member of Team America in the whole state of Michigan to compete in the 2017 World Martial Arts Games.
Michigan This Morning introduced you to 14-year-old Justin Roberds a few weeks ago when he was first heading there.
"I have competed twice," said Justin. "The first time in Wales in 2015 and the second time in Ireland – where I just got back from."
Justin says it’s a huge honor to be punching, kicking, and blocking on behalf of Team America at his second World Martial Arts Games, this time in Dublin.
"It’s just crazy thinking about it," Justin said. "Being at my age where people in their 20-somethings or older haven’t even done it yet."
Especially since it’s a sport he’s been filled with passion about since he started when he was just five years old.
His sensei, Jerry Mozden, has had the pleasure of working with Justin since he first started.
"I’m so proud of him," said Jerry. "It’s an opportunity you don’t normally get and he’s worked his way through to it and it’s just great."
It was no easy competition.
"The competition was quite stiff in each one of my divisions," said Justin.
But that doesn’t mean Justin walked away from the 2017 World Martial Arts Games empty handed.
"For kata I got sixth place, for weapons I got 4th place and for point sparring I also got 4th place," he said.
"He works hard so he deserves everything he gets," said Jerry. "He’s always working to be better that’s what you really want in a student."
Checking off his second World Martial Arts Game is one accomplishment on his road to the ultimate goal.
"At some point in my lifetime I want to enter the Olympics, which is a long shot, but I have faith I can make it happen if I just put in the time and effort into it."
Team America as a whole brought home five bronze, 20 silver, 44 gold and 9 grand champion titles.