BY JEFF FALK
Sometimes we pick a path in life, and sometimes a path picks us. Just like some people are born to greatness, and some people have greatness thrust upon them.
Joshua Aguirre is perfectly suited for the karate discipline of taekwondo. And taekwondo is perfectly suited for Aguirre.
Not sure if the action of choice was ever involved in the matter.
Aguirre is a child prodigy, an expert, a kid guru. All at the age of seven.
The fact that he began pursuing the difficult discipline of taekwondo when he was five is amazing enough. But in 23 short months, Aguirre has accomplished things in the world of karate that it would take most of us a lifetime to attain.
To say he caught on quickly or accomplished a lot in a short period of time would be an understatement. The things Aguirre are doing aren’t natural or normal, in the purest of senses.
“He started in our pee wee class, but he wasn’t there very long,” said Master David Gladwell, owner of Family Karate, where Aguirre trains. “He excelled very quickly. He went to all-stars, which is the next level up, and then to taekwondo. During the 34 years I’ve been teaching, he’s the youngest black belt I’ve ever had. He was six when he earned his black belt, and that’s very unusual.
“It’s not only his physical skills,” continued Gladwell. “He’s a very well-mannered young person. He has a very outstanding personality. Someday, somebody is going to notice him. I could see him being in movies and going to the Junior Olympics and Olympics. You can just tell the kid is going to be special. It’s been exciting seeing how fast things have moved for him.”
“No, it’s not hard to do,” said Aguirre of karate. “Sparring is a little bit hard. But chopping blocks isn’t too hard for me. My favorite thing about karate is imaginary fighting. But yes, I’m very good at karate, because I practice.”
In many ways, Aguirre is a child who’s advanced beyond his years. A resident of Lebanon, Aguirre is being home schooled and he’s currently in the first grade.
Recently through competition, Aguirre was crowned the Maryland taekwondo champion and then the Pennsylvania taekwondo champion. During his short career, Aguirre has earned 58 gold medals, three silver medals and a bronze, at competitions on the national, state and local levels.