Earwood Karate chosen for potential reality show
by Natalie Netzel Staff Writer
PROSPERITY — Earwood’s Karate in Prosperity has been chosen for a potential documentary series.
On Saturday, Sensei Dewey Earwood, some of his students along with their parents and grandparents came to the studio — or in Japanese, dojo — for an extra class in preparation for the production company.
“They contacted us after seeing a couple of people perform (at a competition),” he said.
Austin James and Blair Franklin from High Noon Productions in Los Angeles, Calif., made their first stop in Prosperity Saturday night to video students and interview a few of the students and their parents.
“We are developing a show for a major cable network revolving around Dewey and the studio,” said James. “We want to see Dewey, the students and family. It’s a docu-series. We came from L.A. because Dewey is so interesting.”
James and Franklin randomly chose a few students and their parents to interview for the potential series.
Earwood has taught karate for over 40 years and throughout those years, he’s taught students who have won at many national competitions. In fact, Earwood’s competition team — God’s Squad — had three students win at the Dixieland Karate Internationals held Aug. 16 and Aug. 17 in Myrtle Beach.
Andrew Boland, Christopher Boland and Giada Fanara placed in different events. Tyler Hansen also belted out the National Anthem.
Earwood has been inducted into 11 national karate Halls of Fame and is a certified 10th degree black belt in U.S. TAI.
Two of this students — Beetle Theile and Brian Pena — have opened schools in Irmo and West Columbia, respectively.
The students in Earwood’s dojo practice three days a week for about 45 minutes. The younger students — called Little Angels — practice for half an hour. Earwood also teaches adults.
Before every class the students say the Pledge of Allegiance and pray for safety. The students learn discipline, respect and manners among other character traits and life lessons in Earwood’s classes.
One student, Logan Grizzle, is a freshman and a second degree black belt. He comes to Prosperity from Irmo and has been learning from Earwood since he was 7 years old when Earwood was in Irmo.
“I started watching the Ninja Turtles (cartoon) and would go by the Irmo studio and look in the window. Finally, my mom took me to my first class,” said Grizzle. “I’ve learned discipline, focus and respect. I also have ADHD and have excelled in school. I have higher reading comprehension and am in honors classes.”
He received his first black belt when he was 10 and his second when he was 12.
“I definitely plan to keep on doing (karate). It’s always been a hobby and I love the surrounding. It’s a family,” said Grizzle. “He motivates you to do better.”
Grizzle said Earwood took him aside and told him the importance of education.
“I always thought of him as a grandfather/father figure,” said Grizzle.
Andrew Boland is on the God’s Squad. Two of Boland’s cousins are also in Earwood’s karate class.
Julie Boland, Andrew’s mother, said Andrew loved the Power Rangers and that’s why he got started.
“The main thing for him is it’s helped strengthen his feet and legs,” said Julie Boland. “It’s also helped him with discipline and helps focus him.”
In addition to competing and learning karate, the students play games that help with focus and motivation and offer a fun aspect.
Christopher Boland’s grandparents, James and Kay Boland, said they enjoy watching their grandson practice and compete.
“Since starting (karate), his school grades have went up and he made honor roll last year,” said Kay Boland.
The proud grandparents said they are excited for what Christopher will continue to get from karate.
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