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Michigan martial arts scene growing, drawing talent worldwide

Michigan martial arts scene growing, drawing talent worldwide
Michigan martial arts scene growing, drawing talent worldwide 02:08

(CBS DETROIT) - Santiago Linares has quite the resume for a 13-year-old.

A second-degree blackbelt, martial arts world titles, and nearly his entire life dedicated to his craft.

"The training is very hard. I train with my sensei and I train in Guatemala," Linares said. He and his sensai, Luis Celis, who is also his uncle, have been training together for nearly 7 years in the field of martial arts.

"Kids at that age don't like to be like training all the time and making sacrifices. But he is. His mentality is different because he's always trying to improve," Celis said about Linares.

They made the trip to Michigan all the way from Guatemala to continue Linares' growth in what Conell Loveless says is a growing sport.

"To me, being from Michigan, this is a mecca, the history of martial art in our in our state. It's just something, we've got people that's worked with Chuck Norris and different guys like that," Loveless said.

Loveless is the head coach of Team Revolution, a group of elite level martial artists, like Linares. The group held a camp to teach children in and around metro Detroit about martial arts. He says the president of the World Karate Commision, Richard Plowden, is located in Detroit which attracts even more people worldwide right here to our area.

"That in itself draws so many athletes to come here. So yes, it's growing,"

Linares says his next steps are to begin high school with as strong of a martial arts background as possible and he hopes to one day get into a university with the help of the support system around him.

"My favorite part is when I'm with the team because we are like a family," Linares said.

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