William "Andrew" Schmetzer has qualified to represent the United States of America at the WAKO Junior World Championships Sept. 21-29 in Naples, Italy, where there will be more than 50 countries participating.
Schmetzer, a native of Conyers, is an instructor at Jim Fuller's Highway 212 karate studio, one of three U.M.A.S. Black Belt schools in Newton and Rockdale counties. He began training early (8), as his first tournament was an inter-school competition at the U.M.A.S. Karate School.
Schmetzer went on to compete on a local, state and national level, and quickly became a world champion.
His brother, Kris, is also a world champion.
On June 14, William graduated from karate school as a second degree Black Belt, giving the crowd on hand a glimpse of what Italy will see in September. His performance was impressive, bringing the audience to cheers.
Schmetzer has already built quite the resume, one that includes grand champion (twice) in 2005, NASKA and ISKA Demonstration Team World Champion in 2006 and NASKA Creative Forms World Champion in 2006.
This year he became a member of the United States National Kickboxing Team, and is NASKA-rated No. 1 in extreme forms, musical forms, creative forms and creative weapons. He is also ranked second in sparring.
"It's remarkable that someone from our school has this opportunity and has taken it so far," said Jim Fuller, U.M.A.S. owner.
For Schmetzer, September's trip will be the first time leaving the country to compete.
"I am very proud of him," said his mother, Vickie. "It is an honor to be chosen to represent our country."
Although the cost to participate in the world championship is $7,000, so far Schmetzer has raised $1,854. A fundraiser on his Web site (www.williamschmetzer.com) is underway to help raise the remaining amount.
However, there are several ways to assist Schmetzer, such as dropping off used ink cartridges to be recycled at any of the three Fuller locations.
Shane's BBQ will donate a portion of the proceeds to Schmetzer when a meal ticket is purchased, which can be bought at any of the Fuller karate studios between now and July 23.
In addition, there are sponsorship and donor programs which can be completed at the karate studios. All donations are tax deductible. (WAKO USA is a 501(c)(3) per Schmetzer's Web site.)
For more information, call (770) 787-8707 or visit the Web site at www.umaskarate.com.