HOLLISTER, N.C. (WNCN) – Christian Buffaloe said he was 2 and a half years old when he got his start in martial arts.
“This is something I’ve been doing every day, all my life. It’s like brushing teeth you have to keep doing it,” he said.
His dad, Kenny, saw something in his son.
“He was in diapers and didn’t lose his balance and that was the first thing that really caught my attention about him because I expected him to fall on his behind and he didn’t,” Kenny Buffaloe said.
And when he didn’t fall on his behind…
“And then I thought, ‘uh oh, we’ve got something here.’”
At 8 years old, Christian Buffaloe became the first American to in a championship in Japan.
And nearly a decade later, he’s a 17-year-old elite champion with his sights set on the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
“The Olympics, everybody watches the Olympics, so, I’d be representing America on a larger scale,” he said.
Christian Buffaloe’s form of karate, Kyokushin, wasn’t always accepted on the world stage.
“You have to knock the opponent out completely or incapacitate him or knock him down twice in order to win,” Kenny Buffaloe said.
Sounds scary but not to Christian.
His intense training has instilled a belief that he can accomplish what he puts his mind to.
“Focus, if you allow yourself to be scared, you’ll freeze up and you can’t perform as well as you normally would so I just stay focused and concentrate on what I have to do,” he said.
In the sport of Kyokushin karate, Christian Buffaloe is the best the U.S. has to offer.
In three years, he could very well carry the torch for his sport.
“This Olympic exposure will make more people see what we do, so we’re very excited about the possibilities, we really are,” Kenny Buffaloe said.