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“Bohan’s Family - January's Rising Star“
Richard H. Nguyen, Isshin-Ryu Karate-Do
Biography - Richard H. Nguyen
Name: Richard H. Nguyen
Age: 11 (born in 1993)
Birthplace: Webster, NY
Years of training: 6
Rank: Ni Dan
Major style: Isshin-Ryu
Cross-training: Goju-Ryu, Shotokan, Shito-Ryu, Ryuei-Ryu, Matayoshi Shinpo’s Kobudo, Jiu-Jitsu.
Recognition: High Honor Roll Student, Student Leader, Presidential Sport Award, and Isshin-ryu Hall Of Fame’s Karate-ka Of the Year.
2001-2004 Competition: won over 200 trophies, medals, and many Grand Championships across the United States and Canada. Richard is a many-time national champion
Professional goal: Richard wants to be a lawyer.
Martial arts goal: : To represent the United States in Olympic competition.
At an open tournament, 8-year-old Richard dominated the 8-10-year divisions, so he earned both spots in empty kata and weapons in the 17-year/under and under black belt grand championships. Richard’s teenage competitors laughed at him while he was warming up in the grand championship ring. They thought that this 8-year-old boy would have no chance against them.
When Richard executed the first move of the Kusanku kata, his competitors stopped laughing. Their mouths dropped open when the five judges gave the scores for Richard’s performance. Richard won decisively the empty hand kata grand championship.
Again Richard was the last one to perform in the weapons grand championship ring. This time all of his competitors seriously paid attention to his Chatanyara No Sai. Once again, the tournament director announced, “ Sorry guys, it’s a déjà vu.” Then he presented the grand championship award to Richard.
Richard is a gifted karate-ka who can memorize an entire empty hand kata in about 15 to 30 minutes. By watching his older brother Michael performing a kata three or four times, he then started to simulate the kata.
His father recalls when Richard was a green belt, he knew all 8 empty hand katas, 2 sai katas, 2 bo katas, and learned Shishi No Kun No Dai and Hamahiga No Tuifa when he was a brown belt.
In 2002, 9-year-old Richard was tested by the black belt standards for the adult black belt candidate, and was promoted to Sho Dan by Sensei Brian West.
Just like his brother Michael, besides learning the arts of Isshin-ryu with Sensei West (IWKA Kumite Grand Champion) and Goju-ryu karate with Sensei Kamau Chukwueneka (USAKF and AAU National Champion), Richard also trains in Shotokan, Shito-Ryu, Ryuei-ryu, and Matayoshi Shinpo’s Kobudo.
Richard took the ELITE training with Sensei Tokey Hill (WKF World Champion) and Sensei Eric Hill (Wado-ryu Coach), kumite seminar with Sensei Hideharu Igaki (USA Head Coach), and Jiu-Jitsu with other.
Richard and his brother Michael also did a good deed to the community by setting up a 2003 Summer Karate Program to teach karate to kids who are under-privileged.
While waiting for the grand championship events at the 2004 West Chester Fall Classic, Sensei Kensho Tokumura, with Sensei Karl Hovey’s translation, invited Richard and Michael to train with him in Okinawa. It is a great honor for them with such an invitation by the well-known Okinawan weapons master. Richard won both the 2003 & 2004 West Chester Fall Classic’s 12-year/under Grand Championships.
In a letter regarding Richard and Michael in the August 2004 Newsletter, Sensei Harold M. Mitchum from Tennessee wrote, “That was a very good write-up on your two sons. They are both very dedicated karate students and will always perform well.”
Sensei Brian West wrote, “Richard is a little man with a big heart. His determination and drive to excel really set the example for students to follow.”
Richard has always demonstrated humbleness in victory and graciousness in defeat. Sensei Marty Prentice from Pennsylvania wrote, “Michael and Richard are something special to watch. They are very talented and dedicated to the "Art". I mention them often in our classes to inspire our students especially those who have seen them perform.”
Richard is a many-time national champion who has the ability to perform remarkably many high level katas from different karate styles for the multi-round kata competition. His knowledge is beyond his age. His parents and brother Michael are the major driven force for his accomplishments.
Richard has been recognized several times in the Webster Herald, and the Democrat and Chronicle for his accomplishments.