Kader Bendib

Kader Bendib won three divisions at the 2021 North Carolina Nationals.

BOONE — Blue Ridge Kung Fu student Kader Bendib was ranked Grand National Champion at the 2021 North Carolina Nationals in the kata, weapons and sparring divisions on July 31.

The North Carolina Nationals — featuring Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Kung Fu championships — is a traditional martial arts tournament, and this year’s event in Durham, North Carolina was hosted by Hanshi Larry Isaac’s Martial Arts Center.

Bendib, a first degree black belt student under Grandmaster Rick Ward, used weapons and empty hand forms and sparring techniques during the competition. He earned four trophies and was ranked Grand National Champion of the event.

Blue Ridge Kung Fu Arnis Academy, located at 2210 Old U.S. 421 in Boone, offers Kung Fu classes for people of all ages and fitness levels, and the first two weeks are free. Classes are currently offered Tuesday and Thursday: the Sil Lum class at 5:30 p.m. for children and 6:30 p.m. for adults and the Emperor’s Long Fist class at 7:30 p.m. COVID-19 precautions are in place for the health and safety of students.

Grandmaster Rick Ward currently holds the rank of 10th Degree Grandmaster, and is the founder of Sunburst Natural Fist System (Tai Yang Tzu Jan Men), Sasamba, founder and president of the International Kung-Fu Arnis Association, the International Kung fu Arnis Weapons Association and the White Cloud Society. In 2000, he was appointed 36th patriarch of the Emperor’s Long Fist System by international Grandmaster David E. Kash. Having promoted more than 100 black belts, Ward is Grandmaster instructor over several schools in North Carolina as well as Tennessee, Kansas, Virginia and Florida.

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