After presenting before the world the youngest black belt holder in the form of five-year-old Varsha Vinod, the Alappuzha-based Ko-In-Chi Academy of Martial Arts has added two more feathers to its cap at the international level, both in the same week.
The first recognition came a few days ago in the form of a seventh degree black belt and American Grand Master status from the United States-based World Martial Arts Federation (WMAF) to Varsha's instructor V.Z. Sebastian. The WMAF, run by Danny Lane, a legend in his own right in the martial arts field, had awarded Mr. Sebastian with the fifth degree black belt in 1998.
Mr. Lane also informed Mr. Sebastian that the Ko-In-Chi Academy would be the first such institution in India to receive an ‘official studio' status of the WMAF while Mr. Sebastian would be the first Indian to get the Grand Master status, a press release from the Ko-In-Chi academy claimed.
The academy was in for more recognition a couple of days later with its member, Harikumar Rajappan, being invited by the WMAF to assist Mr. Lane at the New York Tactical and SWAT training expo at Syracuse, New York. He, along with Mr. Lane, was part of a group of instructors who taught police and military forces the latest tactics and techniques on hostage rescue, high risk warrant service, weapons disarming and retention and negotiation techniques among others, the press release said.
Five-year-old Varsha Vinod, who was awarded black belt after training at the Ko-In-Chi academy to become the world's youngest black belt holder, had surprised even British Karate champion Juan Moreno in a mock fight last October with her fighting skills.