Morgan Plowden kicks her way to the top
DETROIT — Every sport has its most valuable player. In Detroit, Morgan Plowden is emerging as a martial arts star.
The 23-year-old karate champ won the diamond ring at the Diamond Nationals World Karate Championships in Minneapolis, Minn. Oct. 5, and two weeks later won the World Karate/Kickboxing Council’s (WKC) world championship and Champion of Champion’s title in Taranto, Italy.
A native Detroiter, Plowden was a softball pitching standout at Renaissance High School, winning four PSL titles. She was named All-City four times, as well as All-Metro her senior year. This year she received her bachelor’s degree in health policy studies from the University of Michigan/Dearborn.
“I started training in the martial arts when I was six,” said Plowden who learned from her father a former karate world title holder. Her mother, Debra and brother Avery are also black belts.
“I stopped playing softball during my sophomore year [at Howard University] deciding to transfer home, and began competing in the woman’s black belt division in tournaments,” she said.
At that time, her father was the president of the WKC-USA, charged with taking American teams to world championships.
Plowden did not attend the first WKC because of school and softball but went to the championships in Portugal in 2010.
Portugal began a string of victories, she went on to win the title in the next three world championships in Spain, Montreal and, this year, Italy.
“It is fantastic to have the opportunity to do something you love and see the world,” she said. “My softball career would be over now, anyway, and I have been able to channel that competitive energy into something I really love.”
“I love everything associated with competing in martial arts tournaments,” she said. “The workouts, camaraderie, representing my city, state, and country is just phenomenal.”
Plowden also loves that she’s one of the few African American women excelling at her level.
“So, I am a role model to other girls and women who look like me,” she said. “If I can motivate and inspire others in and outside of the ring, I am maximizing my blessings.”
- Staff report