Hutchins repeats as karate champ

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 10, 1999

Danielle Hutchins of Vidalia, La., got her green belt last week. But that was nothing compared to what she came away with in New Orleans.

For the second straight year, seven year of Hutchins, 7, won first place in kumite (sparring) in Tiny Tots at the United States Karate Alliance World Championship.

&uot;I think it helped having been there and winning last year,&uot; Hutchins said.

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Hutchins also finished second in kata.

&uot;I enjoy sparring more,&uot; Hutchins said.

Hutchins, who will be in the second grade at Vidalia Lower Elementary, advanced by disqualification in the first round after getting hit in the face twice.

&uot;It was an accident,&uot; she said. &uot;It didn’t hurt.&uot;

Hutchins has three more belts to earn before becoming a black belt.

&uot;That’s what I want,&uot; Hutchins said. &uot;I&160;would love to teach karate one day.&uot;

Hutchins began taking karate when her parents, David and Lisa, were looking for something for her to do.

&uot;She didn’t like dancing or gymnastics, but she likes softball,&uot; Lisa said. &uot;And she really liked karate once she started it and she’s stayed with it.&uot;

As for chances for a third straight title?

&uot;I’m going back and want to win it again,&uot; Danielle said.

Danielle added she wanted to thank Natchez Tae Kwan Do instructors Kirk and Penny Andrews and fellow karate competitor Charlie Cage.

&uot;They all helped me a lot,&uot; she said.