Karate laurels, local cross fit athlete to compete on world stage … Bravo! – Orange County Register

Fighting all odds: Brett Cutshall and Kathy Jahr have earned the rank of Brown Belt from the American Martial Arts Academy in Placentia.

Students there for four-plus years, Cutshall, 44, has Down syndrome and Jahr, 38, is autistic.

“I was almost in tears” at the promotion ceremony, said Nikhil Joshi, academy director and sensei. “When we opened up the school, our philosophy was to give every student the opportunity to succeed.”

Aside from his “helping nature,” Cutshall’s greatest attribute is his resolve, Joshi said. “He never has a lazy day. He’s always gung-ho, excited, pumped up.”

Jahr, who uses a walker, is a perfectionist.

“She’s hard on herself,” Joshi said. “She’s always out there after class asking ‘How did I do today?’ But she asks for no special favors, no special treatment.”

Both students plan to pursue black belts.

“They’re out there putting their heart and soul into what they’re doing, with a smile on their face,” Joshi said. “They both committed early on to this journey.”

Fit to compete: Esperanza High alum Jason Carroll recently placed third in the California Regional of the Cross Fit Games,…

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