Stacey and Zachary Blount are students from the McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy. Stacey Blount will compete for the Xtreme Weapons title.
“I love the weapons believe it or not,” Stacey Blount said. “I think it’s a lot of fun. You get to be creative and choose your own music. It’s a lot of work and a lot of practice but Ms. [Lisa] Piper makes it awesome and she’s always really helpful.”
Meanwhile, Zachary Blount, who will be entering the fifth grade at Ola Elementary, will do likewise for the Xtreme Form trophy.
“I think for him the draw is he’s learning how to do some acrobatics and trick kicks,” Stacey Blount said. “At that age they are fearless. He’s always in the living room moving the furniture out of the way, trying some different techniques that Ms. Piper has taught him.”
Stacey and Zachary Blount won wildcard slots in their respective divisions among competitors from Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, North and South Carolina and Florida.
“I’m going to challenge them to take things up another notch,” Piper said. “I will also keep working on their confidence and reminding them of where they’ve come from and where they are going. Just help them stay focused.”
Training at the McDonough ATA Black Belt Academy has been like a family outing for the Blounts for nearly the past three years. Along with Stacey, first degree black belt, and Zachary, first degree, her husband and his father, Joel, is a first degree black belt and their oldest son, Christopher, is a second degree black belt.
“Christopher was taking classes before we moved to Georgia and he wanted to continue,” Stacey Blount said. Then [Zach] left soccer and joined. My husband and I were sitting on the sidelines and figured we’re here anyway and it looks like a lot of fun. We figured it would be a great family activity also.”
Joel and Christopher are also state champions but fell short at the District Championship.
“The Blounts are really good examples for people who want to learn how to become better and aspire to go to the next level,” Piper said.