Horizon High's Enzo Belardo has won an AAU karate national championship

The rising junior at Horizon High and member of Stoneybrook Karate OGKK started off 2024 on a tear — winning five straight AAU karate competitions — and now he's claimed a national title.

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Enzo Belardo, a rising junior at Horizon High and member of the Stoneybrook Karate gym, won an AAU karate national championship Friday, July 5, at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center. 

"I'm so grateful for my senseis GP and Tim for all their efforts, they worked in each detail," said Belardo. "The national (championship) is a huge step in my journey. Thank you to my amazing parents for all the support."

The 15-year-old has been on a tear this year winning five straight competitions, including the AAU Florida state championship, before claiming the national title in the novice kata category for his age group. 

Kata competitions are not a one-on-one fight between two opponents, instead, they are a solo demonstration of a specific kata. This non-fighting aspect of karate focuses on form and transitions in a display of that specific kata's fighting elements. 

Even before Belardo's national title, his young karate career had already shown tremendous promise, which in turn has opened doors to opportunities such as training with an Olympic medalist, Ariel Torres, being invited to train with a professional karate team and even earning sponsorships to help continue his karate journey.



Sam Albuquerque

A native of João Pessoa, Brazil, Sam Albuquerque moved in 1997 to Central Florida as a kid. After earning a communications degree in 2016 from the University of Central Florida, he started his career covering sports as a producer for a local radio station, ESPN 580 Orlando. He went on to earn a master’s degree in editorial journalism from Northwestern University, before moving to South Carolina to cover local sports for the USA Today Network’s Spartanburg Herald-Journal. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his lovely wife, Sarah, newborn son, Noah, and dog named Skulí.

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