The Westfield Area YMCA is proud to announce that Pamela Gedman, Chief Instructor of Gedman’s Black Belt Academy, has become the 2018 World Champion in Sparring in the Woman’s 40-49 year old 4th and 5th degree black belt division.

ATA Martial Arts, the world’s largest organization dedicated to teaching martial arts to all ages, held its World Expo July 9-15 in Little Rock, Arkansas. During the Tournament of Champions held July 12-13, the Top Ten competitors in each division competed for the prestigious title of ATA World Champion. Divisions are based on age and black belt rank. Competitors battle it out in traditional, creative, Xtreme and team events.  For these elite martial artists, earning a spot in the coveted Top Ten among the best in the world marks a culmination of hard work and passion while competing at national, district and regional tournaments throughout the year.  

Gedman’s Black Belt Academy is located at the Robert and Virginia Bauer Family Branch (422 East Broad St., Westfield) of the Westfield Area YMCA and offers programs for adults, teens and children beginning at age 4. Classes are taught by a team of certified black belt instructors. Classes for beginners through 5th degree black belts are available. Beginner students are required to attend the Intro class (no uniform required) before beginning rank-specific training. There is no annual commitment or contract required to participate. Rank advancement ceremonies are held on-site at the Bauer Branch four times a year. 

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For information on all the classes, programs, leagues and events offered at the Westfield Area YMCA, visit or the Main Y Facility Welcome Center located at 220 Clark Street, Westfield. The Welcome Center can also be reached at 908-301-YMCA (9622).

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.