Crack karate champ Lorenzo Hubbard recently advanced a rank up in his craft.
Hubbard, of Wadesboro, became a second-degree black belt on Oct. 1.
According to Livestrong.com, a martial artist can receive a black belt rank but still have 10 levels to advance after that. To become a black belt, the artist must go through 10 kyu levels: white, orange, red, yellow and green, then purple for the sixth and seventh levels and brown for the eighth through tenth levels. Then there are 10 dan levels to advance through for the black belt.
Hubbard earned his black belt on Jan. 4, 2006.
He said he had to hold back tears when they called his name to award him his new rank, and that he was proud of his certificate and achievement.
Hubbard studies with sensei Ronnie Covington at Ebony Dragons Martial Arts Studio in Rockingham. He has been studying karate for more than 30 years.
Last year when Hubbard took first place in the 2015 Green Brothers Annual Battle of the Border, he said his sensei challenges him and his fellow trainees.
“We fight hard over there,” Hubbard said at the time, adding that you have to fight your way out when cornered. “That’s how he makes them tough, so we can come out winners. And we do over there, and take trophies, medals and belts.”
Hubbard has earned dozens of awards over the years and will add the certificate for his new rank to his collection.
Last year, Hubbard said he began studying karate when he was picked on in school. He said Covington calls him “Nitro” because of his skill.
“Don’t let me get near you.”
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.