Posted On:4/15/2007 7:35pm
Ben Krier, 12, son of Philo teacher and former Electrics' girls and boys head basketball coach Kevin Krier, practices at Impact Martial Arts in Newark. He will be inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame, while his dad will be seeking his first degree black belt later this month.
A Hall of Famer at age 12
Ben Krier to join World Karate Union Hall of Fame
By BRANDON HANNAHS
NEWARK - Jujitsu started as a hobby for Ben Krier.
Now, the 12-year old is on the verge of joining very exclusive company.
n June, he will be inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame. He has earned his junior black belt, the highest level for any youth, while earning his brown belt at the adult level. He has won several titles including two Rick Moore's Four Season Opens and several other awards such as the Impact Martial Arts 2004 and '05 Youth Student of the Year.
Even with the accolades, Ben did not expect his most recent honor.
"I had never thought about (the Hall of Fame) until I got the letter," the young Krier said. "I was excited and stunned.
"I know a lot of kids don't do this, but I'm amazed by how much I have done."
His father, Kevin, credited his son's mindset for this achievement. Kevin Krier, who still teaches at Philo, was former head varsity girls and boys basketball coach of the Electrics.
"(Ben) is very focused. He has maturity most other kids don't have," Kevin said. "He loves to do this, and he works hard at it."
The young Krier just began the sport as something to do at the age of seven. He was one of the first students at the Impact Martial Arts in Newark. It became Ben's sport of choice as he dropped baseball because he had one goal in mind.
"I wanted to be a black belt," he said. "It takes a lot of practice and dedication (to do well)."
Kevin was a big part of his son's early success as he worked on the forms and techniques with Ben at home. He also became a fixture at Impact Martial Arts. One day an instructor asked him to join a class, and Kevin thought he knew enough to get started, so he gave it a try. It was a very humbling experience as the most experienced were in front and the new students were in back.
"It was a natural transition for me since I had helped him, I had learned techniques," he said. "On my first day, I was at the back of the line. Ben led instruction while I sat at the back of the room."
Kevin, who led the Philo girls to the Final Four in 2000 and still teaches there, started finding success in another sport. It helped him through every day life while getting him back in shape. The decision continues to pay off daily.
"It helped me relate and handle things better mentally," he said. "Mentally, I am in my best condition while physically I am like I was in my mid-20s."
Watching Ben's transformation has been amazing for Kevin and sensei Ben Bisso. The once shy boy who hid behind his parents when meeting new people has become quite an athlete. The sport has built up his confidence and given him a chance to achieve.
"He learned how to take risks and continue to try even if he failed the first time," his father said. "He has developed that ability, and it was extremely important (for Ben).
"Now, it is nothing for him to stand up and compete in front of several hundred people. Even a presentation in front of 20 kids in his class is a piece of cake (for Ben)."
"He has shown the ability to persevere," Bisso said. "(Ben) found his niche and has stayed motivated."
Along with gaining confidence, the young Krier has learned other lessons in his training. He has remained humble and learned to respect others. Those lessons have come from fighting more experienced competition.
"It is intense fighting older fighters," Ben said. "I get a little nervous, but I try to do my best."
He has some leeway against younger fighters if he makes a mistake," Kevin said. "Against older fighters, he must rely on technique because they are stronger and bigger."
Ben has learned from those fights. He understands what it takes to do well, and he passes it on as he instructs newer fighters.
"I see a lot of kids who throw fits or beat the crap out of the punching bag," Ben said. "I try to tell them to be patient and focus."
Kevin has watched his son take on a leadership role as a assistant adult jujitsu instructor. His dad has seen it on several occasions especially among Ben's peers, but one moment truly showed how far he has come.
"We were at a tournament, and another boy his age from the school didn't do well," he said. "Ben walked across the gym, sat down and put his arm around him. He encouraged the young boy.
"It was very amazing. Other instructors were impressed to see him take that leadership role."
Kevin has followed in his son's footsteps and become an instructor. Bisso has been thankful to see the two reach this level. As much as he has taught the Kriers, he has been pleased to see them pass it on to others.
"This shows me I have done my job," Bisso said. "I have seen them grow as students and instructors. I have enhanced their lives, and they are enhancing the lives of others.
"I am proud of them and have been blessed."
Kevin is preparing to test for his first degree black belt at the end of April. Ben will have some power as he will be one of the judges at the ceremony, but his father does his best to keep his son humble.
"(Ben) reminds me he will be on the panel to decide if I pass," Kevin said. "I also told him to remember I pay for his food."
The sport has truly blessed the Kriers, and Kevin has been thankful for the results.
"To see what (jujitsu) has done for Ben and myself, it speaks volumes for the sport," he said.
Posted On:4/15/2007 7:40pm
Style: punching bag / crew jitsu
What did he do to make the HoF? It looks like he was just good at Jujitsu... I know a first grader who's really good for his age, should he go in a TKD HoF?
Posted On:4/15/2007 7:46pm
Do you think this hall of fame has a kiddie rate?
Posted On:4/15/2007 9:08pm
Style: Muay Thai & BJJ
Yeah sure. His lead hand is held wrong, if he actually punched anything, he would break his hand.
God I hate Bullshit.
Originally Posted by Sifu Rudy Abel
"Just what makes a pure grappler think he can survive with an experienced striker. Especially if that striker isn't following any particular rule set and is well aware of what the grapplers strategies are".
Posted On:4/15/2007 9:36pm
Style: Kyokushinkai / Kajukenbo
I could take him.
"Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
T3h R34l Gangnam Style!
Posted On:4/15/2007 10:10pm
Hell, at least his hands are UP!
Posted On:4/28/2007 3:31pm
"Along with gaining confidence, the young Krier has learned other lessons in his training. He has remained humble and learned to respect others. Those lessons have come from fighting more experienced competition."
Sounds like a sales pitch.
Posted On:4/28/2007 4:52pm
Originally Posted by Wolf
Hell, at least his hands are UP!
They told him to pose. I'm sure he non-spars with his hands down.
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