Martial Arts Hall of Fame inaugural ceremony held in Marion County

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. – An inductee ceremony was held Saturday at the Fairmont Rotary Club for the first ever West Virginia Martial Arts Hall of Fame.  

Organizers said it started with an idea at one of their breakfast meetings to be able to recognize all art forms. There were 25 inductees into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame and officials stated that they will induct more members every other year into the hall of fame.  

“I’ll tell you what we have some really, really good martial artist in West Virginia and that is why we are going this, you know, we go everywhere, and we always come back leaving our stamp somewhere where we competed at. So, it’s time for us to recognize our own West Virginians,” said Garry Freeman, Shihan. 

For many in the martial arts community it was a night of celebration and fellowship among the martial artist who has known each other for a long time.  

“West Virginia has a very long history of martial artist who have won nationals and people who have competed on national Judo and Jiu Jitsu teams,” said Rick Starsick, Wushu Dai Shi. 

Martial artists who helped organize the event for the inductees said that for most of the people in the martial arts community it is a way of life for them. 

“Most of these people have various kinds of jobs throughout their lives, but always the central focus for all of them is martial arts, and what that means living your life a particular way, and honor, and respect,” said Pat Wilson, Shihan.  

After the awards were presented to the inductee’s fellowship and dinner was served for them and their family members in attendance.  

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