The debut appearance of Karate in the Olympics will be extra special for North Texas. The only two athletes representing Team USA in Kumite (fighting) are from a Plano dojo.
The Academy of Classical Karate has announced that Tom Scott, 31, and Brian Irr, 32, will both compete for Team USA. They join Sakura Kokumai (CA) and Ariel Torres (FL) who are representing the USA in Kata (forms) for Karate. USA Karate Head Coach Brody Burns, also from Plano was selected to coach Scott and Irr in Tokyo.
Scott, who is a full-time instructor at the academy teaches kids karate every day. was raised in the Richardson/Plano area and attended St. Marks Catholic School, Jesuit Preparatory School and graduated from Texas Christian University. He is currently ranked number six in the world, is a two-time Pan American Games Gold Medalist and six-time Pan American Champion.
Irr is from New York and moved to Plano when he was four years old and began training when he was eight to pursue his Olympic dream by training with Tom Scott and Head Coach Brody Burns, who will be coaching the two in Tokyo. He is currently ranked number eight in the world and earned gold at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima. Irr is now an instructor at the Academy of Classical Karate in Plano, teaching new generations the spirit of Karate. He is an educator by profession and has taught for PISD in the past as a substitute teacher.
The Academy of Classical Karate has been serving the Plano area since 1988. The academy focuses on traditional karate techniques and teaches core values with a vision statement of “better lives through the study of Karate”. Karate competition is set to compete in Tokyo on August 5 with Scott competing on August 6th and Irr competing on August 7 .