Poway karate kid takes fight to Japan
POWAY, Calif. -- At just 14 years old, Westview High School freshman Corinne Allas is ready to fly across the Pacific Ocean, synch up her black belt, and take on the entire country of Japan in karate.

"This has been my whole life," Allas said after a recent workout at the San Diego Japan Karate-Do Center in Poway. "Everything I've been training for, it's going to lead up to a point and I want it to be something that I'm really proud of. I want to make a statement. I want to make a point. I want people to remember who I am."

Allas has a pretty good start on making a name for herself.

The karate black belt said she has won more than 30 national championship trophies in the disciplines of forms, sparring, and weapons.

Those trophies have earned her, and her sparring partner Sydney Masaki, an invitation to a prestigious tournament in Tokyo, Japan on March 13.

"It's a big step because here I'm one of the top competitors, and I know everyone, and I know what the judges are looking for," Allas said. "But in Japan it's totally new. I have no idea. But, I've been training for this tournament for eight or nine months so I think that I can do well."

More than 1,500 kids will compete in this tournament and Allas and Masaki are the only Americans who received invitations. Both will compete in sparring and forms.

"It's very rare," said sensei Ferdie Allas. "It's very rare that Americans are invited to pretty much a homogenous tournament."

Ferdie Allas introduced his daughter to karate at age two, teaching her the skills he learned as a former captain of the U.S. Pan Am team.

"If I did my job right, she should be 10 times better than me," her father said. "If I handed down my knowledge to her correctly, then she should do well."

The father finished top eight in the world in 1988, so if Allas becomes 10 times better, that would put her right where she wants to end up.

"I would like to be World Champion," Allas said. "That's my goal because this is my whole life. Everyday, I put myself in here. I work hard. I sweat. I train. I bleed sometimes and that's all leading up to something.

"I want to be world champion because I see them and I'm like, 'Okay, they started where I was, I can do that too,'" she said.