Warriors United Tournament Featured Karateka - Laura VanOsdol
Mother of Five Brings Home the Hardware at Karate Tournament
By Brett Hart
June 13, 2016 - Mother-of-five Laura VanOsdol decided four years ago to get off the sidelines and onto the mat. Now 52, this intense competitor is currently a 5th kyu green belt preparing to compete at the USA National Karate-Do Federation Nationals in Pittsburg July 14-17 - alongside her youngest child.
Training at Dragon's Den Mixed Martial Arts, along with two of her children (Sam and Jennie), under Sensei Eric Swick, VanOsdol's weapon of choice is the bo and her favorite kata is Enpi. She competes in the Warriors United Tournament Circuit and was recently named the Grand Champion in the Adults (18+) Division Under Black Belt at the Rumble on the River 3 Tournament in Grafton, West Virginia. On the way to earning her title of Grand Champion, VanOsdol took gold in all five events in which she competed - board breaking, weapons kata, open hand kata, 1 point Kumite and 5 point Kumite.
''I would like to thank Greatmats for sponsoring and providing the Warriors United Tournament Circuit with their mats,'' Laura said. ''These old bones greatly appreciate it!''
Even with all of her success at the tournament, Laura's favorite part was competing alongside her kids, sharing their excitement, nervousness, disappointment and feeling of accomplishment. And her favorite moment as a karateka came when her son said, ''Mom. Let's spar!''
''How cool is that!,'' she said.
While she loves to share her martial arts experiences with her kids, Karate also provides her what she calls ''Me Time with a Purpose.''
''Karate allows me to leave everything outside the dojo doors,'' Laura said.
Training 4-5 days per week, VanOsdol says, ''I want that black belt! When I first started karate, I was so out of my comfort zone, getting up in front of judges, memorizing katas... SPARRING!! But I like a challenge. So between all the sweating, bruised bones, stitches, hard training, encouragements, camaraderie and my dojo family, to quit now is not an option.''
Learn more about the Warriors United Tournament Circuit