Karate is making its Olympic debut and two North Texans are ready to fight their way to the top.
Tom Scott takes on Japan at 3 a.m. CST Friday.
Brian Irr competes against Canada at midnight CST on Saturday.
They make up half of the U.S. Karate delegation and both happen to train at the same Plano dojo, the Academy of Classical Karate.
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Classes for all ages continue at the dojo but it’s been anything but business as usual.
“You can feel a certain vibration and energy throughout the entire campus,” said Bryan Nixon, a sensei.
It feels like Christmas at the dojo.
Halls are decked with all things Olympics, cards are covered in signatures and no one can wait to watch them compete.
“It’s crazy, both of the best U.S. fighters in the world are from this dojo. It’s insane, they're here & I'm friends with both of them, it’s crazy,” said 13-year-old Alexander Nixon.
Irr is a New York native who moved to North Texas to train at the Academy of Classical Karate.
Scott was raised in Richardson, is a 15-time national champion, and six-time Pan American Champion.
He met his wife Morgan while attending TCU.
“I am so, so proud. If anyone knows how hard work and commitment pay off, it’s him. I get goosebumps talking about it because I am so very proud of him,” said Morgan Scott.
Scott and Irr compete in Kumite, a part of karate.
Points are awarded for punches and kicks to the body and head.
Because karate is fighting to stay in the Olympic games going forward, bringing home hardware would truly be historic.
“Good luck to both of you. Let’s go get this gold!” said Alexander Nixon.