A prominent figure in the local martial arts community will receive the rare honor Friday of becoming a 10th degree black belt in karate.
Charles Hawkins, who founded one of San Diego County’s first martial arts schools in Escondido 42 years ago, said the award is less about his skill as a fighter and more about his many contributions to martial arts over the years.
Hawkins has taught thousands of young people and has used the sport to improve the lives of the disabled and others facing challenges.
“He pioneered a lot of things,” said Steve Truscott, a longtime student who now runs the Family Karate chain of martial arts schools that Hawkins started. “He would adjust our martial arts techniques to the person’s ability. He’s really an amazing man.”