Echoes of the Spirit thrives at Stockton tournament |

Echoes of the Spirit thrives at Stockton tournament

Steve Yingling

Three months after opening its doors to martial arts students, Echoes of the Spirit delivered a successful performance in its first tournament in Stockton.

The school on Kingsbury Grade captured eight trophies at the Golden State Karate Association World Championships on Aug. 16.

“I felt in the short amount of time these students have been training, all performed well beyond their skill levels,” said John Pegis, who operates Echoes of the Spirit with grand master Ralph Castellanos, Tony Pegis and Nate Castellanos. “The ones who didn’t place showed remarkable spontaneous reaction for their belt level. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to accomplish those feats.”

Nikia Breyman, John Pegis and Jonathan Poell each captured first-place trophies in their divisions. Breyman placed first in sparring and forms in the girls’ 14-17 teenage class. Pegis finished first in men’s 40 and above black belt forms, and Poell claimed first place in men’s 20-29 advanced continuous sparring.

The trophies didn’t with that trio.

Sean Rogers was second in men’s 20-29 point sparring, Scott Coplin placed fourth in men’s 20-29 point sparring, Bobby Willis captured fourth place in boys’ 12-14 intermediate sparring and Tony Pegis collected fourth in men’s 20-29 black belt division sparring.

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In addition, the new school was presented a most supportive school award.

Next up for the school is a demonstration Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Lakeside Inn & Casino. Echoes of the Spirit’s next competition is the Clash of the Warriors Oct. 16 at Horizon Casino Resort.

John Pegis said the school is offering a free private lesson to anyone who wants to sample the sport. For more information, phone (775) 588-3322.