SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico boy can now call himself an international youth Kenpo champion. Ernie Crites of Santa Fe competed in the Jeff Speakman’s 5.0 Fighter Virtual Championship over the weekend.

The 10-year-old advanced black belt was up against more than 130 others from around the world ages 10 to 17 and he won the Kenpo tournament.

Ernie’s family said he has a fighting spirit. He was born premature, with many physical health issues which made it difficult to walk at an early age and started training in Kenpo at four-years-old. 

“There’s a lot of boys at my school and I really don’t want to be some kid who gets beat up for no apparent reason,” said Ernie. “So I train in Kenpo so I can protect people and myself.” Ernie said he will continue training five times a week. He said the next tournament is in Santa Fe but it’s been postponed until at least September.

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