West Coast students earn 4th degree black belts | RecordCourier.com

West Coast students earn 4th degree black belts

Staff Reports
Chris Kallas and Steven Stearns, recently received their 4th Degree Master Instructor Black Belts after years of dedication and hard work.
West Coast Martial Arts |

Chris Kallas and Steven Stearns, students at West Coast World Martial Arts in Gardnerville, recently received their 4th Degree Master Instructor Black Belts.

Kallas, 63, and Stearns, 67, began their test at the West Coast Martial Arts headquarters in San Jose, Calif., on a Thursday afternoon and continued until midnight on Saturday.

The two men, who have put in “years of dedication and hard work,” to reach this goal, began three rigorous days of testing that ended with a three-hour performance in front of about 3,000 people and several martial arts masters from across the U.S., followed by a two-hour physical endurance course.

Leading the testing was Black Belt Hall of Fame and 9th degree Master Instructor, Ernie Reyes Sr., founder of the West Coast Demo Team, in addition to 8th degree Master Instructor George Fujii, owner of West Coast World Martial Arts/Machado Jiu-Jitsu in Gardnerville.

“These two men are some dedicated, hard working students and they are in great shape,” Fujii said. “They are well rounded, versatile martial artists. They have great character and are well respected in the community. They have trained consistently and been involved in martial arts from 15 to 20 plus years and have truly earned their black belts. We are proud of how they represent our school and they are great role models for others in our community.”

West Coast Martial Arts in Gardnerville offers a diverse and creative system of Mixed Martial Arts, added Fujii, who has trained in martial arts since 1972.

“The students tested and trained in many areas of martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Eskrima stick fighting, Boxing, advanced kicking, MMA submissions, traditional forms, physical endurance, board breaking, weapons, sparring, and a written essay and written test,” Fujii explained. “The students are also trained in diet and nutrition, leadership and teaching skills, and performing arts at West Coast Martial Arts.”

Anyone interested in Martial Arts or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training may contact West Coast at 782-8343.