For most young athletes, 26 trophies in your career makes for a pretty full shelf.

But for Waxahachie’s Dax Shelton, 26 trophies just means he’s had a pretty good year. And he’s about to turn 8.

He just finished his 2012 season with a first place and a second place finish at the Texas Amateur Organization of Karate State Championships in Mesquite. This came just weeks after having two first place finishes in the Texas Karate Organization state championship.

His first place finishes came in the forms division and the second place finish was in sparring.

“I’d have to say doing the kata is my favorite part,” Shelton said. “I have to remember the forms and then there’s another one where I do my kata to music with a weapon.”

The kata is a detailed pattern of movement that can be done either solo or in pairs. 

Shelton said he can sometimes get confused between the two different organizations that he competes in, but that hasn’t apparently slowed him down this year.

“TKO has better events, but I’ll have the AOK rules in my mind and I’ll forget some of those rules,” Shelton said. “They score differently and that leads to sometimes both people getting points.”

Karate is something that he’s wanted to do since he was 4, but he didn’t start doing tournaments until recently because his dad wanted to.

“I was already doing it for a while before I got started with the tournaments,” Shelton said. “But I like doing those too now.”

When he’s not mixing it up in the dojo, he’s playing baseball. That’s his second favorite sport.

“Baseball is fun because we play in the spring and fall,” Shelton said. “Karate is year round. I like the teamwork of baseball though.”

He’s been hitting the mats for three years and is already having this much success. But what he’s doing off the mats at this young age is also impressive.

He had his eighth birthday party last week and instead of asking for presents for himself, he decided to ask for toys to donate.

“He said he didn’t want any toys at the party,” Shelton’s mom Misty said. “He wanted to help the kids that need toys at the Texas Baptist Home for Children.”

Even though he’s just turning 8, he realizes that others need help.

“I talked about it with my parents and we thought that would be pretty good to do,” Shelton said.

He may be giving up his presents, but don’t expect him to be giving out lessons.

“He’s very modest about his karate,” Misty said. “He was asked to do a presentation in school and he didn’t want to do it.”

Maybe he’s just saving it up for all the tournaments he’s been doing this year. He did just one tournament last year and at least one a month this year. He plans to do even more next year.