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From Biker to Black Belt

April 02, 1987|SCOT BUTWELL

Eighteen-year-old Sean McAlpine, above, looks like your average South Torrance High student as he hops onto his motorcycle after school.

He's not.

"I built the motorcycle," McAlpine said. "I've ridden since I was a kid. I used to race them but broke too many bones."

Now he has channeled his interests toward martial arts.

These days, after the 2 p.m. bell, the senior speeds off on his motorcycle to the San Pedro martial arts school where he teaches with his master, Kazja Patschull, who introduced him to the sport four years ago. He's been hooked ever since.

"For the last four years I've been working out for six to seven hours every day except Sunday," said McAlpine, a first-degree black belt.

"I owe a lot to Kazja. He's taught me in four years what it should take 10 to learn."

"He was like a brother," Sean said. "We would lift weights and talk about how he studied under Chuck Norris and trained under Bruce Lee's system."

Patschull is a 10th-degree black belt, the highest rating.

After taking lessons for about four months, Patschull asked McAlpine to help him teach, McAlpine said.

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