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Local Girls Capture Sport Karate World Titles
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Local Girls Capture Sport Karate World Titles
Saturday, January 11, 2014

At the Super Bowl of sport karate competition, the National Black Belt League (NBL) Super Grands, a local trio of sisters made martial arts history by capturing 12 championship belts and eight NBL World Titles. Brigid Chase, “Hurricane” Hope Chase and Elizabeth Chase of West Allegheny School District weren’t even born before the NBL established its league in 1989 and held its first ever Super Grands in 1990 at the Niagra Falls Convention Center in Niagra Falls, NY. Now, 24 years later, as teams and competitors from all across the globe converged to compete for the coveted sport karate world titles, the Chase sisters kicked and punched their way into the sport karate record books at the 24th Annual NBL Super Grands in Charleston, South Carolina.

15-year-old “Hurricane” Hope Chase made history by herself by becoming the first ever NBL competitor to earn two Overall World Grand Championships at the Super Grands New Year’s Eve Grand Finale in two opposite spectrums of sport karate competition – traditional forms and point sparring.

“This is the first time ever that a competitor captured an Overall Grand in both forms and fighting,” stated NBL founder and President Boice Lydell.

Cass Sigmon, who watched firsthand the Hurricane’s historic night on the NBL Grand Finale stage, is one of the top adult sport karate competitors in the world and currently represents and competes on the most prestigious sport karate team in existence, Team Paul Mitchell, said afterwards about Hope, “World Class Competitor – amazing accomplishments!”

Besides winning two overall World Grand Championships, Hope Chase won four NBL World Titles in creative weapons, Korean forms, point sparring and team sparring. Part of the reason for Hope’s “Hurricane” nickname, is not only her world-class cardio conditioning and fighting ability, but her blazing fast mastery of nunchucks (nunchaku).

“Hope’s regarded as one of the top nunchaku practioners in the world,” explains head trainer and father Peter Chase who is the head instructor of White Viper Karate in Imperial, PA.

“Her capturing the World Title in creative weapons using nunchaku is a long time coming as she has worked endless hours perfecting her weapons technique and manipulation not only with creative chucks, but with traditional nunchaku as well.”

“Hurricane” Hope Chase also captured two NBL Silver Belts making it to the finale stage two additional times for continuous sparring and traditional weapons utilizing the aforementioned traditional nunchaku. Earning an NBL Silver Belt is akin to winning a silver medal at the Olympics.

“2013 was the first time I saw Hope compete, she is a world class athlete in any league, in any country, in any sport, Period," said 17-time World Champion in XMA, Extreme and Creative Martial Arts Trace Megellas of TForceElite.com.

16-year-old Brigid Chase earned two NBL World Titles in team sparring and continuous sparring. Her sparring team which consisted of her sister “Hurricane” Hope Chase and also 11-year-old Sara Russell of Allegheny Shotokan in North Huntingdon, PA, represented Team Kumite, one of the foremost sport karate teams in the world founded by Bill Viola, Jr. of Kumite Classic Entertainment in Pittsburgh, PA. Brigid was considered the MVP of Team Kumite at Super Grands.

“Defeating last years champs, Team Alchemy out of El Paso Texas, it was just an amazing victory for our team,” explained Team Kumite Head Coach Bill Viola Jr. He added, “ The Chase sisters were on fire. Bridey (Brigid) kept that lead in the third round of the final match and was no doubt the MVP for us. All the hard work paid off. Parents Peter and Brigid Chase, who own and operate White Viper Karate in the West Allegheny area, couldn’t be prouder!”

Brigid maintained a number one seeded ranking throughout 2013 in her continuous sparring division in the NBL and proved the ranking accurate by capturing the continuous sparring NBL World Title in her junior girls’ division defeating last year’s champion and world class competitor Karina Perea.

“Brigid is one of the best female point fighters I’ve seen,” stated Peter Chase. He added, “The way she adjusted her fighting game at Super Grands to earn two titles was simply a work of art.”

Brigid also made it on the finale stage for the second year in a row at Super Grands with her traditional self-defense routine. She earned a NBL Silver Belt in 2012 and stepped it up in 2013 to earn another in a very hard fought and competitive division coming in second to NBL World Champion Ricardo Menderez out of Mexico. The success of her self-defense display comes first and foremost from her hard training at White Viper Karate where she studies and also helps teach anti-bullying self-defense techniques.

“The self-defense we teach at White Viper and what Brigid showcased for the second year in a row at the NBL Super Grands is pure meat and potatoes,” explains White Viper head instructor Peter Chase. He added, “There’s not a whole lot of flash, just pure self defense against would be cowards and thugs.”

Also for the second year in a row, 13-year-old Elizabeth Chase won an NBL Silver Belt in her continuous sparring division winning seven out of nine bouts to make it to the stage finale again. To win any black belt division at Super Grands, one must not only perform or fight better than a myriad of other seeded and wild card competitors, but also pass through a vast array of top martial arts judges many times over to continue to advance.

“Bessy (Elizabeth) really fought her heart out at Super Grands and deserves that world championship NBL Silver Belt she earned on stage in the finals for continuous sparring,” shared training coach and mother, Brigid Ann Chase, I, who is the Head Children’s Instructor at White Viper Karate.

It’s very special and rare when one person is as talented in a sport as any one of the three Chase Girls are. However, what’s perhaps more impressive is the fact that all three sisters share equally a world-class ability in the full scope of martial arts.

"To have just one martial artist, male or female, emerge from a program with the strength of character, motivation and technical brilliance of any one of the "Chase girls" would be an accomplishment, but to produce three martial artists who perform at their level is just shy of a miracle,” stated Bruce Chapman, Founder and President of Handle With Care, the largest independent self defense and physical restraint system in the world with operations in all 50 states.

Chapman continued, “Bridey, Hope and Bessy are what happens when incredibly grounded parenting and great genetics meet superior training and physical conditioning. Each is as beautiful and genuine inside as she is ferocious outside. When I watch them move in a form or a fight, I have to keep reminding myself how young they are. I cannot wait to see the future that each of them will create for herself."

The Chase girls practice martial arts as a family. That’s one of the factors that have helped them stay focused on their individual martial arts goals and dreams. All three of the sisters have unwavering aspirations for full-time careers in the martial arts. That’s one of the main reasons why parents Peter and Brigid Chase own and operate White Viper Karate in Imperial, PA where all three Chase girls mainly learn and perfect their craft. The karate school is more of a passion than a business as all five in the Chase family help teach and train six days a week.

“White Viper Karate is a labor of love,” explained Peter Chase. He added, “We have a dojang (karate school) in our house and if we didn’t have White Viper Karate, we would be practicing at our home dojang six days a week anyway. Passing on our knowledge and teaching others besides our daughters in the traditional art of Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan is very gratifying and teaching the girls how to instruct others in karate and how to run certain things in a martial arts school is another great bonus for their careers.”

White Viper Karate brought 18 local students to the 24th annual NBL Super Grands including the three Chase girls. 14 of those students, all from West Allegheny, competed in the color belt amateur circuit of the NBL called SKIL. Two color belts, Sean Williams of Imperial, PA and Corrie Klobchar of Clinton, PA both won SKIL Amateur World Titles for Team White Viper. Others that finished in the top three included Kyleigh Trecki of Clinton, PA, Gary Klobchar, Jr. of Clinton, PA, and Nicky Yokoyama of Oakdale, PA.

“It’s something special to take local West Allegheny residents from this little school in Findlay Township to the World Games and experience success not only with my daughters, but with the entire team,” said Peter Chase. He added, “We did it as a family, we teach karate as a family, and we promote a family atmosphere on our team. I think that positive disposition goes a long way in helping individuals and families achieve their martial arts goals on a global scale.”

The Chase girls have incredible martial arts biographies that include a host of accomplishments beyond the 24th annual Super Grands. To learn more about them and see a schedule of where to watch them compete in 2014, you can visit their personal websites at www.hurricanehopechase.com, www.brigidchase.com and www.whiteviperkarate.com .
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