Universal Martial Arts Championships

The 45th Annual Universal Martial Arts Championship was held at the Springdale Recreation Center in Lancaster, South Carolina and sponsored by Hanshi James White and the Universal Karate Studio also located in Lancaster, South Carolina. This event is always the most attended event sanctioned by the Dojo Organization as all first-place competitors not only receive a 7ft trophy but also became part of the International Champion and Southeastern Champion league. Those who compete for Grand Champion receive a huge beautiful golden laid Championship Belt. This year the guest demonstrator was Shihan Shannah Robin, representing Universal Martial Arts Academy, Roseau, Dominica and Vancouver, Canada. Arbitrator Jerome “Magic” Johnson and Ring Coordinator Sabumnim Donald McCluney along with certified Black Belt Judges made sure that the event was not only fun and enjoyable but moved swiftly through each ring.

The event started with the breaking division with Isabella Calvert taking first place. The Children divisions began for those ages 5 – 17 under-belts and all rings were to full capacity as these youthful competitors came to achieve the International and Southeastern Champion bragging rights.  The Musical Division found the following competitors with first place: Kira Brown, Rem White, Aidan Van Nus and Derek Dinh. This was followed by the 5 – 17 year old Underbelt Open forms and Traditional Forms (including weapons) and then Sparring in respective divisions the following competitors achieved first place: Ashley Young, Kaden Williams, Aaron Hams, Andrew Ferrara, Luke Woodard, Austin Godley, Jayleen Hinton, Jeremiah Salley, Marley Twitty, Rodney Brice, Robert Hubbs, Ty’Mir Frazier, Troy Rodrigues, Cain Kerchner, Trey Myers, T.J. Gibbons, Joshua Benton, Adrianna Gibbons, Lane Webb, Shey Barney, Jamion Moody, Morgan Duley, Mahalia Stainback, Christian Merchant, Prince Katherine Stainback, Seth Steele, Wyatt Albert, J. T. Carter, Kira Brown, Wesley Johnson, Aiden Van Nus, Dylan Durrence, Layton Harper, Carlyn Lucero, Bruce Sherman, Gavin Barnhart, Nathan Gellner, Regan Avery, Joshua Benton, Peyton Ivey, Jayden Davis, Terrany Jeter, Kamayn Wilson, Meli Reinhold, Jullian Cline, Tyson Coleman, Jesse Roper, Lily Hutchison, Christian Merchant, C. Kennedy, Marc Lamb, Seth Steele, Aiden Ortega, Wyatt Ingram, Ty’Keivyan Harris, Jules Drye, Michelle Clifton, Chloe Burk, Cameron Reddish, Mason Allen, Collin White, Releyus Love, Kerek Dinh, Matthew Freie, Aaliyah Custantino, Reale Veal, Kamylah Lars, Aylen Maximo, Santa Scott, Serafina Fish, Hailey Brooke Taylor, Brenda Blackmon, and Isabella Calvert.  These divisions had so many competitors that some division had to be split into 2-3 divisions to accommodate all the competitors to give them a fair chance at competing. Congratulations on a job well done at showing off your skills, determination and self-discipline in your respective divisions.

The event had a small break for Shihan Robin to demonstrate his skills using Qigong “Chi”, him along with Grandmaster Wayne Lewis and assistance from several other black belt martial artists demonstrated bending a 16mm steel rod using their throat, (video can be seen on YouTube: https://youtu.be/2ebigDFVGTE), he also broke multiple boards with his hands, head and knees and being kicked in the groin area to show that the mindset of a person with these skills can control the muscles in their body can accomplish much with the power of Qigong “Chi”. Qigong is used for power, protective shield and for healing the body and used to direct the chi throughout the body to where it is needed to most at any given time.  Also, during this break appreciation awards were given to all Black Belts who participated in judging the different divisions. Awards were given to four schools that had the most students in competition.  A raffle was done for the 55” Flat Screen TV (won by Haley Taylor) and $100 cash (won by Beth Moore).

The Adult under-belt (17 +) traditional/open weapons/kata forms division competitors were not to be outdone by the younger competitors as these competitors were just a fierce and focused as their younger computers.  First place in these divisions were: Stephen Lloyd, Michael Holmes, Katie Harmon, Kilana John, Kevin Hodge, Frank James, Marquis Mackings, JyTavis Bush, Joshua Faulennberry, Devin Beam, Robert Marshall, Alias Spears, Andrew Morris, Julia Boyce, Crystal Freie, Sandy Threatt, and Trey Myers. Congratulations to all the competitors in their respective divisions who demonstrated their precise and focused techniques to the judges and spectators.  The Jr. and Adult Black Belt divisions was as always very exciting and edge of the seat enjoyment.  First place winners in these divisions were: Brandon Bryd, Rickie Maddox, Johnny Blackmon, Selena Stowe, Richard Brown, Nate Lambert, Oksana Wilson, Seth Sikes, Mama “G”, Jens Finck, Michael Goodwin, Justice Floyd, Torren Davis, Darryl Carter, Clint Moore, Kahlid Crawford, Jimmy Moore, Joey Shifflett, Terry Floyd, Hope Hamilton, Zachary Waybright, Jacob Horton, Avery Odom, Jewels Mabee, Jordan Holley, Ayden Odom, Elijha Odom, Nathaniel Wall, Sanaa Denton, Morgan Schmidt, Mercucio Nunez, Jack Sikes, Toby Willis, Zoe Jenkins, Tray Robinson, Zyon Duncan, and Sadie Mabee.  This event also had Grappling Division with first place winners: Mali Love, Joseph Hance, Michael Adolf, Landon Walker, Marc Lamb and Mercucio Nunez.

School with the Most Competitors
World Class Karate of Jesup, Georgia
Team MBS of Covington, GA
Southwest Karate of Concord, NC

Hanshi James White, staff, family, and student made this event most enjoyable and full of excitement.  We look forward to next year’s fun packed tournament.  Our next event will be:
Saturday, May 4, 2018
42nd Winter/Spring Festival Open Championships
Place: Family Ministry Center of First Baptist Church - Union Road, Gastonia, North Carolina
Promoter: Grandmaster Charles Burris, 704-865-8947
Sanction: AAA