MEDFORD, Massachusetts (WBZ) — He’s Medford’s Karate Kid, and he could become a World Grand Champion. Neil Anderson is just 9 years old, but he is challenging some of the best karate competitors on the planet.
“He always practices all of the time, and that is what makes him great,” says his Sensei Ninja Nguyen, owner of Extreme Ninja, “I told his Dad when he comes in, this kid has got talent. He should compete.”
The talented youngster battles in numerous disciplines from weapons to hand-to-hand combat. He has been winning tournaments up and down the East Coast over the last year. He even won a knife tournament having never done it before.
“They had something to the tune of 40-42 rings. This actually looked like a Karate Kid tournament,” laughs Neil Anderson Sr., talking about one of his son’s competitions in Baltimore.
“When you compete a lot, other people see, and other people like to invite him,” explains Nguyen.
All of the wins caught the attention of the karate world. He was invited to compete in the virtual World Championships. He creates videos of his form and routines, and then submits them to be judged. The winners go through a series of tournaments, and eventually the champions all face off to be crowned Grand Champion. Anderson Sr. is often the photographer for these videos, but occasionally he finds himself in the action.
“I am always a training dummy! I am a professional punching bag!” he said.
Young Neil got into the sport after watching Karate Kid. He liked seeing someone overcome a bully to win a karate tournament. As successful as Anderson has been at such a young age, he first had his doubts.
“I looked for dojos for a while, but I got scared. I ran out of a few of them,” remembers Neil, “I liked it, and just kept doing it until I overcame the fear.”
When he gets older, Neil wants to open his own dojo, so he can teach other children. He already assists in the teaching of some classes at the dojo now. He may even have his sights set higher.
“He watched the Olympics this past year, and he would love to compete as a karate athlete,” Anderson Sr. said.
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