Local martial arts studio holds special “Curbside Karate” ceremony to award new belts

Curbside karate in Homewood

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Almost 40 students from North Star Martial Arts received their new belts Thursday afternoon, but the belt ceremony was anything but traditional.

Master Joe Schibanetz has been creatively holding classes for all his students (ages 3-83) for the past couple of weeks via Zoom, Facebook Live, Instagram Live and Skype, but was challenged with awarding and presenting earned belts in an (almost) virtual world. So he came up with “Curbside Karate” where students (or parents) could drive-thru the parking lot allowing students to perform while maintaining the state’s health recommendations of social distancing.

“I’m very thankful. Even though it’s a really bad time now, but it’s been so much fun and I love doing my work like doing my forms and stuff, it’s a lot of fun and I love Karate,” said Jack Turkiewicz, who earned his first-degree black belt Thursday.

Seven Black Belt candidates, who had tested more than a month ago, were presented with their new uniform and black belt.

North Star Martial Arts is a school teaching traditional Korean Tang Soo Do in Homewood for the past 21 years.

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