Filipino-American kid Matthew McFarlin, who is described as a “Filipino Phenom,” garnered second place in the International Choi Kwang Do (CKD) tournament which was held on May 28-June 2, 2013 in the United Kingdom.
Matthew, 8 years old, competed in the 6-8-year-old category of the tournament participated in by CKD artists from 30 countries.
In the tournament, he demonstrated his excellent skills and scored high in the pattern, speed drill and air shield competitions.
Matthew learned basic skills in CKD at the Lifetime Fitness Center in Canton, Michigan where he had earned his black belt at age 7. His trainer, Michael Ayerst, described Michael as a “skillful martial artist.”
CKD is a scientifically based martial art that involves motor movements that are primarily self-defense techniques. It is not a physical-contact sport but it involves clear sequential movements. All CKD competitions are judged on the competitors’ ability by master instructors who rate the contestants based on their level.
He had just turned four years old when he was enrolled by his parents – American John McFarlin and Filipina Arcelie McFarlin (nee Garcia) – in the choi kwang do class at the Lifetime Fitness Center. And in August 2012, he passed the test for his first-degree black belt.
His mother Arcelie hails from Sta. Ana, Pampanga, Philippines, and his father John, is a former photographer at Ford Motor Company.
Despite his many time-consuming sports activities, Matthew is doing very well in school. Now in third grade at the Howard Elementary School in Dearborn, he is called “dream pupil” by his teacher, his mother said.
Since pre-school, Arcelie said, her son has always been at the top of his class.