At 63, Castellanos is still kickin’ |

At 63, Castellanos is still kickin’

Rick Chandler

Even at the age of 63, Ralph Castellanos is not adverse to traveling 130 miles to kick a little butt.

“Actually, at my age, I’m primarily competing against myself,” said Castellanos, a South Lake Tahoe resident who competed in the Golden State Karate International World Championships in Stockton this past weekend (Aug. 6-7). “At this point I’m mainly competing to show older people that we can still do it.”

Castellanos won first place in Master Open Form in the 50-plus age division, and took third place in weapons. Master Open Form is an exhibition of self-expression, featuring offensive and defensive karate moves, with no opponent involved. There are as many as 20 moves involved in a routine, which is scored by a panel of judges in much the same way that gymnastics or diving is scored.

Castellanos has been competing in such events for more than a decade – he also took a first place in the World Karate Championships last July in Long Beach.

He trained briefly for the Stockton competition in between his regular shifts as a security officer at the Horizon Casino Resort in Stateline. Castellanos is also the originator of the Sidewinders, a group which performs Wild West cowboy gunfighter shows throughout California and Nevada.

“I’m doing pretty good for an old guy,” he said. “My career right now serves as a big thank-you to all the people who have helped and encouraged me along the way.”

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