And this past Saturday, Robinson Entrekin captured her 15th consecutive Georgia Karate League state championship, a streak that started when the organization originated in 1998.
The Central High School graduate competes in all three divisions — Kata (forms), Kumite (sparring) and Kobido (weapons) — and has won state titles in all three during the course of those 15 years, including taking top honors in Kumite and Kata this year.
“Staring out the first eight years, I was in all three divisions. After that, it was two here, one there. So I’ve always received a state championship in one of them, but most of the time it was always in Kumite. I want to say it was every year but two that I received it in Kumite,” Robinson Entrekin said.
Co-owner of Robinson Karate Dojo in Carrollton, Robinson Entrekin got started in the sport when she was 6 under the tutelage of her parents — Billie and Larry Robinson — who opened their first studio in 1983. Beginning tournament competition at 9 years of age, Robinson Entrekin was recognized as a black belt by 13 and officially received her certificate when she turned 16.
“They were really good about not pushing me. They kind of just let me start when I wanted to because I was around it,” Robinson Entrekin said of her parents. “It’s kind of like my little boy. He’s 4, and he’s been up here since he was 2 weeks old. We’ve kind of just let him, if he wants to do it, we’ll let him do it. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t.”
And while she still loves the competition, Robinson Entrekin said the tournaments are also about bringing people together, as well.
“It is all about the competition. I do love it. But now, as you get older, it’s starting to be more about all the friends, too,” she said.
The mixture of competition and teaching keeps Robinson Entrekin busy — along with recently starting a job at Southwire this past year — and she said she enjoys each aspect of the sport.
“Really, it’s a mixture of both. I love both of them. The competition is more on my end. I really enjoy doing that. Tournaments kind of gauge on what you’ve learned, so that’s the reason I like doing them,” said the University of West Georgia graduate.
But having grown up in a karate family, she also understands the value of teaching her craft to future generations of state champions.
“Some of them I find that they kind of remind me of myself. I want to teach them, like my mom has taught me. It’s just a good thing growing up in it because it teaches you a lot of self-confidence, self discipline and things like that,” Robinson Entrekin said.