12-year-old Hoboken girl lands first place in All American Open martial arts championships

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 HOBOKEN -- A 12-year-old Hoboken karate kid won first place in the 2013 All American Open Tae Kwon Do/Karate/Kung Fu Championships on March 16. 

Shekea Coleman bested roughly 40 competitors in her division of 10- to 14-year-olds to emerge victorious at the 48th annual martial arts competition at the Paramount Gym at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus, according to a statement from the Hoboken Housing Authority.


Shekea attends the Hoboken Housing Authority’s after-school karate classes led by Ray Rodriguez, who also competed at the tournament and won third in the master’s division.

The housing authority’s karate program was created as a way to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble, Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia said. 

“It’s pioneering programs like this that build discipline and confidence,” Garcia said. 

The All American Open Championship was started by Tae Kwon Do instructor, Sihak Henry Cho, in 1965 to promote the principles of the American martial arts.

Picture caption: 
Ray Rodriguez and Shakea Coleman of Hoboken hold their trophies from the 2013 All American Open Tae Kwon Do/ Karate/ Kung Fu Championship Tournament March 16.

April 09 2013 TaeKwonDoTimes.