Six members of one dojo in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn have qualified to compete in the 2013 World Karate Confederation World Championship in Australia, and now are raising money to travel to the competition. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.
There are the Williams sisters of tennis and the Manning brothers of football, but the next great sibling rivalry in sports could be in karate: the Pierre sisters.
Sixteen-year-old Woodlynn Pierre and 14-year-old Aneisha Pierre recently faced off for the top prize at the Amateur Athletic Union's national karate competition.
"You just have to pretend that she is not your sibling, like envision somebody else in front of you," Aneisha Pierre said.
Now they, along with their 18-year-old brother, Brandon Pierre, and three other members of the Kokoro Karate Center at 5212 Avenue N — Roberto Betancourth, Alexis Watson and Ricardo Louis — have qualified for the 2013 World Karate Confederation World Championship in Australia this May.
"To see them reach this point and to see how hard they work and all that they have accomplished already as national champions, to be selected at this point especially that we have three from one family, is very very special for us," said James Esopo, the sensei at Kokoro.
What is about the Pierre Family that produces such elite athletes? Their mother, Emmauela Pierre, said it all comes down to discipline.
"It is the the motivation the discipline the togetherness," she said.
This will be Woodlynn Pierre's second trip to the championship. Both she and Aneisha qualified last time, but their family could only afford to send one of them.
She said she is looking forward to sharing this experience with her siblings this time around.
"We still have those sibling rivalries, but this time I guess it will be more fun because I will have someone who I know there," Woodlynn Pierre said.
It costs $4,600 dollars for each member of the team to attend the championship in Australia, so the members of the team are stepping up their fundraising, as well as their training.
"We will really want to raise as much as we can to be able to get all six of them to go so that we don't leave anybody behind," Esopo said.
"Hopefully we get a lot of people to come out and help us," said Ricardo Louis. "We are reaching out to everybody, Jay-Z and Oprah included."
To make a donation, visit www.kokorokaratecenter.com.