Going for Gold

By Alexandra Krueger

Catching Up with Stockton’s Own Karate Kid

Shortly after winning all five of his matches at the Karate championships in Reno and bringing home the USA National Champion Title, 15-year-old Noah Helsby was chosen to represent the USA in the Jr. Pan-American Karate Championships in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. It was a huge honor for the young martial artist.

The trip, however, required a parent or legal guardian to accompany Noah to Brazil. The cost was in the thousands, threatening to keep him from going. Thankfully, Noah’s a student at Tibon’s Goju Ryu Fighting Arts—an environment that not only fosters discipline, respect, and impressive skill in martial arts, but also community: Together, Noah’s friends, instructors, and community supporters raised $7,000 for Noah and his father to make the trip to Brazil.

For Noah, it was the experience of a lifetime. “It was such an honor walking in with the American flag around my shoulders representing my country,” he says. “The fundraising prior to the trip was also eye-opening: I got to see how many people donated to me, even though I had never met them… It showed me how much a family we are and how martial arts brings people together.”

Not only has Noah become one of the best in the United States in his black belt age-division, his Sensei Eugene Tibon, owner of Tibon’s Goju Ryu Fighting Arts, says his other accomplishments are wildly impressive for a young man of his age: Noah maintains a 4.2 GPA with AP classes in Biology and Chemistry, trains in CrossFit, practices fencing, plays the guitar, and works as an employee at Tibon’s as an assistant karate instructor. “At such a young age he not only has demonstrated the understanding of Goju Ryu Karate but applies its philosophy to his personal life,” says Gene. “I don’t think there is anything that could hold Noah Helsby back from being successful.”

                 Noah is a prime example of how children can benefit from the discipline taught Tibon’s Goju Ryu Fighting Arts. It’s an excellent workout, sure—but there’s more to fighting than physical strength. “It is a mind game and at my level,” explains Noah. “It doesn’t come down to skill because everyone is equally skilled—it comes down to who is smarter in the ring.”

Since they opened, Tibon’s has taught and developed skilled national champions and even Olympic hopefuls—but Noah puts it best, getting to the core of the sport: “I would recommend that anyone learns martial arts,” he says. “Karate is a fun hobby that you can do for a lifetime.”

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Tibon’s Goju-Ryu Fighting Arts
923 N. Yosemite St., Stockton
(209) 465-0943