While many second-graders are spending their Saturdays knocking the stuffing out of baseballs, Jonathan Schwartz of Westlake Village is kicking it out of opponents.
Schwartz, 7, is a two-time International Karate Champion who chops down his Southern California competition in tournaments nearly every weekend.
"He is very, very well motivated," said Tom Bloom, who is Schwartz's instructor. "He loves the winning. A real showman."
Last month, Schwartz earned black-belt status, becoming the youngest student under Bloom's tutelage to do so. Along with competing, Schwartz helps instruct some classes at Bloom's studio in Westlake and participates in the Agoura-based Monarchs Gymnastics program in order to build strength and increase his agility.
Schwartz bears no resemblance to the traditional stereotype of the tough kid.
"He looks like a male version of Annie," said Adele Schwartz, Jonathan's mother. "He is a complete gentleman."
But Jonathan's competitors soon learn that looks can be deceiving.
In Bob White's Karate Championships at Orange Coast College last month, Schwartz came in first in both the Kata and Showmanship events.