Sunshine Taekwondo Academy is one of a number of Nepali-owned businesses in the Akron area. The academy not only offers Taekwondo classes, but also a space for young Nepali children to take traditional dance and singing classes, making it a cultural and social hub for the Nepali community.
Like many small businesses, the past year has not been easy to navigate as courses had to be moved online and public health mandates limited the kind of activities the academy could carry out. That made the event hosted by Sunshine Taekwondo Academy all the more exciting as it was the first time many of the children, parents and community members could gather.
The event was a celebration of community leaders as well as a number of guests that were honored at the beginning of the ceremony. It was clear that gatherings such as this one had been missed over the past year.
Children of all ages took to the stage for performances. From martial art and Taekwondo demonstrations to several Nepali dance and music performances, children of all ages took to the stage to showcase the skills they had been honing over the past years and months.
The main attraction was the presence of Dinesh Sunar, also known as “Parkour Dinesh,” a stuntman and parkour athlete who has broken four Guinness world records to date. As the star billing of the event, Sunar made use of the academy space to showcase his daredevil skills. A fan favorite, Sunar’s showcase was met with chants of “superman” from the audience.
“It was not easy, but he used to watch TV and movies and used to practice on the sand [in his village in Nepal],” Karmacharya says, “Later on, he learned on movie sets and then got a teacher.”
Karmacharya and Sunar did not meet each other until late 2020 when he was getting ready to come to the United States. Karmacharya is currently working as his mentor and visa sponsor while he works on Guinness World Record submissions and America’s Got Talent auditions.
While staying in Akron, Sunar is taking Taekwondo classes at Sunshine Taekwondo Academy for the first time in his life. He is also assisting around the academy with daily administrative tasks.
Nahla Bendefaa is a journalist, photographer and content creator from Akron, Ohio by way of Kenitra, Morocco. She enjoys rewatching Friday Night Lights, painting and confusing Spotify’s algorithm while making her way through a seemingly never-ending tea collection.
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