Dojo Karate athletes compete for Team USA

Dojo Karate’s mission is to help each student reach his or her highest personal potential and to provide them the lifelong benefits of participating in the Martial Arts. To say that these talented martial artists have been accomplishing their highest potential as well as learning and exemplifying the benefits taught at Dojo Karate would be an understatement, as recent accomplishments continue the success of Dojo Karate at the national and international level.

“I am of course exceedingly proud of the accomplishments of the martial artists that I am lucky enough to coach, teach and compete along side of, but there is amazing character development that comes with the martial arts – it is so much more than the kicks and punches,” said Janelle Cote, Dojo Karate’s competition (Team Evolution) coach and the owner of Dojo Karate. “It is watching them overcome obstacles, learn to embrace differences and challenges, work for and achieve great things while still

being able to have good sportsmanship and stay humble. Most of all to watch them become a support system for each other through triumphs and learning experiences and show true team spirit! I’m also excited to continue to share this experience with my daughter, my co-worker and my teammate


Many of the athletes, though young, are seasoned competitors and leaders demonstrating strong character traits such as goal setting, self-confidence, hard work ethic, good sportsmanship, discipline,

team building, humility and perseverance.

“Everyone works very hard at what they do,” said Leonard Zepeda, Dojo Karate’s competition (Team Evolution) coach and owner of Dojo Karate Monticello. “Their dedication to reaching their goals is very inspiring for any kids their age or any age at that matter.”

Almost a dozen of Dojo Karate’s Black Belts went through multiple qualifying tournaments, and nine have earned their spot for the World Karate/Kickboxing Commission this fall. Brianna Alpaugh, Trevor McGuire, Ben Morris, John Steffens, Jenna Kerkvliet, Trevor Mulroy, Jenna Grochow, Corinthea Cote-Narem and Janelle Cote will compete in over two dozen events representing Team USA (with an honorable mention to Liam Mathistad).

“I’ve very happy and proud to be representing Team USA,” said Alpaugh. “It has been a lot of hard work and dedication and will continue to be, but I know I can do it.”

“I’m excited for worlds,” McGuire said. “We get to walk in with Team USA just like the Olympics for the opening ceremony.”

For many of the athletes, this is not the first time they are competing on such a large stage.

“It was my third year going [to the WKC National Qualifiers], the competition

was tough,” Steffens said. “I love competing and this year I challenged myself by doing new

events, and surprised myself by qualifying in one of them. I can’t wait to see what Worlds brings for me and my teammates.”

“Dojo Karate has given me this wonderful opportunity to compete in Worlds for a third time,” Cote-Narem said. “Thank you to my tough – but great coach (who is

also my mom), my family, and my Dojo Family.”

And though members of Dojo Karate have had success before, they continue to achieve more.

“I went to Nationals nervous adding two more events onto my plate, but I guess it’s true that hard word pays off because I ended up qualifying in all four,” Grochow said. “I couldn’t have done it without the team and their families. It’s was an incredible weekend that I am fortunate to have been part of with my


second family (Dojo Family) and we now continue on being better than our best as members of Team USA.”