Angelica Stephan

Angelica Stephan, a 15-year-old Ahwatukee resident, captured a national title at a recent karate tournament.

An Ahwatukee teen is a national karate champion.

Angelica Stephan, a 15-year-old Desert Vista High School student, won the 2019 U.S. National Karate Championship in the Young Ladies Free Sparring Division.

A member of Mountainside Martial Arts Center in Ahwatukee, she had qualified in February for a slot in last months’ championship in Chicago, according to Mountainside founder and sensei Rick Savagian.

“Angelica has been training extremely hard over coming some incredible obstacles to accomplish this feat,” Savagian said.

Angelica also took the bronze in the Forms Competition, becoming the only female in Arizona to medal twice at the national event, which draws more than 4,000 participants.

Another Mountainside Martial Arts member,  Mitchell Werner, placed fourth in the Men’s Form competition and three-time U.S. Open and U.S. National medalist Sydney Johnson competed in the Elite Teen Division. 

Savagian said all three members’ accomplishments represented “an incredible feat for Mountainside Martial Arts as it continues to showcase some of Arizona’s tremendous athletes and students who live in  Ahwatukee.

Mountainside Martial Arts was established in Ahwatukee by Savagian 40 years ago this year.

He has expressed an interest in moving his center’s operations across the street from its current location at 32nd Street and Chandler Boulevard so he can use the current space for a fine-dining restaurant. 

That plan received a recommendation for approval from the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee earlier this year.

Information: or 480-759-4540.

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