KARATE STUDENTS TAKE THE FIGHT TO SUMMER HEAT WITH WATER PISTOLS

KARATE STUDENTS TAKE THE FIGHT TO SUMMER HEAT WITH WATER PISTOLS
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DRACUT — On one of the hottest days of the summer, many local martial arts students’ weapon of choice was not roundhouse kicks or punches.

It was Super Soakers.

A massive squirt-gun fight was organized by the ATA Karate Kids Academy on the playing fields at the Dr. Christos Daoulas Education Complex on Aug. 5.

About 60 kids and adults came out for the event.

They played games of capture the flag and finished the day off with a massive free-for-all squirt-gun fight. Each player was given a necklace with an Alka Seltzer tablet hanging from it. Whoever’s tablet could withstand the onslaught of water without dissolving for the longest was crowned champion.

“We wanted to figure out a way to have some fun and cool off with kids that didn’t involve the physical aspect of martial arts,” said Bryan Calhoun, a sixth-degree black belt and owner of the studio. “The mental discipline, courtesy and respect we’re still working on today.”

Many people came to the event with serious equipment. There were guns that shot by turning a crank and guns that fired when squeezed together like an accordion. One gun was an electronic crocodile head that shot water through the mouth as it opened and closed.

Bonnie Spiegel of Tewksbury had the most impressive gun of the day. Looking like a Ghostbuster, Spiegel ran around with a massive backpack filled with water that fed ammunition to her shooter. The thing weighed at least 10 pounds.

“I bought it five years ago. It’s the big master blaster,” bragged Spiegel, whose husband teaches at the karate academy.

Jim McMorrow of Lowell was one of the only people with a conventional squirt gun. His tiny, neon-green pistol fit in the palm of his hand.

“It’s my Saturday night special,” joked McMorrow. “But it gets the job done.”

McMorrow’s son takes classes at Karate Kids, but he couldn’t make it to the squirt gun fight. “I came anyways, because it’s a family thing,” said McMorrow.

Rhonda Wojtas of Dracut agreed. Her whole family takes karate classes together. Wojtas decided not to get wet on Saturday, though. She judged the competitions instead.

“Rule number one,” shouted Wojtas, as another game of capture the flag was about to begin. “Don’t shoot the judge!”

Have a story idea? Contact Chris Camire at ccamire@thevalleydispatch.com.