Weslee Stipe received his black belt in Shotokan karate on February 27. Weslee began his training as a three-year-old Little Dragon at under the instruction of Corky Sikes, of Jesup.
Along with his intense weekly classes, he trained to compete nationwide for five years. The eight-hour black belt test was comprehensive beginning with the entry, white belt level katas and forms. The test continued through the remaining belt levels with the addition of the karate weapons including the kamas, nun chucks, and bo staff. Before testing for the black belt, two essays had to be written by the karate students. This included, “What Karate Has Done for Me” and “What Karate Means to Me.” The essays were read at the belt ceremony.
Weslee is the son of Lorne and Maria Stipe, and is the grandson of Wayne and Paulette Lee and Charles Ray and Beckie Stipe. Weslee joins his brother, Brooks, on the Black Belt Wall of Fame at the karate school. Weslee stated, “I am proud of myself and what I have done. At 12 years old, I’ve already accomplished one of the goals that I have set for my life.