Fil-Am martial artist makes karate history

By Connie Macatula-De Leon, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

April 2, 2014

WOODBRIDGE, Ill – Pinay Alexis Ocampo, 22, a senior at the Benedictine University majoring in Health Science, is a US world karate champion.

She was also the youngest in the country to receive a black belt at age 13 in the Amateur Athletic Union.

Ocampo, who has been a member of the U.S. Karate team since 2006, started training at age six.

Inspired by her two older brothers and co-trainers, Omar and Chris, Ocampo has since received multiple awards and recognitions local, national and international competitions.

“When I was really little, I was watching my brothers, they were doing karate in middle school, and I just remember looking over my Dad and I said, Dad can I join,” Ocampo said.

“She has many medals,” her father Ernesto said. “She’s already in the adult division that’s why it’s tougher for her.”

But Ocampo has proven that she’s ready to take down the competition.

Ocampo is a 10-time AAU or Amateur Athletic Union state, regional, and national champion, two-time best female competitor of the year, Junior Pan-American champion in Curacao, two-time junior world champion in Germany and Slovenia, two-time senior world champion in Estonia and Czech Republic, two-time JKA or Japan Karate Association champion in New Orleans, among others.

Ocampo believes that everyone is born with a purpose.

This is her purpose, her calling; to be a role model to everyone, especially to the younger generation and to teach them to face and overcome their fears.

“There are always obstacles. Keep going. Know that there is a possibility that you can do more. You cannot always stop yourself. Whatever you do now, if you quit, you won’t know how far you can go so just keep pushing,” Ocampo said.

Ocampo is now preparing for the Ozawa Cup, an international competition that is going to take place in Las Vegas, and an AAU Regional championship in Grayslake, Ill.

She’s confident for more wins.

“If you put your mind to it, it will happen,” Ocampo said.

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