Winter/Spring Open Karate Championships

The 41st Winter/Spring Festival Open Championships sponsored in Gastonia, NC at the Family Ministry Center of First Baptist Church - Union Road by Grandmaster Charles Burris and Burris Academy of Karate – Tae Kwon Do and Korean Karate.  Warm weather and friendly greetings meet competitors as they registered and obtained their competition bands.  Ring Coordinators Kyoshi Corey Waiters along with Hanshi James White kept the rings running smoothly as Arbitrator Sabumnim Donald McCluney answered any questions, concerns or misunderstanding that may have come to his attention. Competitors and spectators waited patiently before the event begin while making small talk with friends and warming up before competition begin.

The beginning of the event started with the Breaking division held outside to the side with two divisions of competitors.  The competitors showed their skills by breaking various sizes of boards with kicking and punching techniques.  Those competitors in the first division were Devin Westbrook, Justin Chavez, Chad Sigmon and Ethan West with Justin Chavez taking first place.  The second division had competitors Jessica Estes, Billy Dellinger, Austin Guffey and Nehemiah Chester with the winner being Billy Dellinger. Next were the musicals divisions of 11 – 17 year olds ranging in ranks from Novice to Advance with competitors demonstrating their skills with bows, fans and swords put to various types of music.  Alexander Mestas, Lauren Haag, Gage Wright, Mason Allen and Rebecca Aguilar received first place in their divisions. 

Next up was the under-belt competitors’ boys and girls ranging in age from 5 – 17 years old in Sparring, Traditional and Open forms. Chad Sigmon, Cooper Rogers, Noah Gilmore, Seth Duley, Billy Delliger, Jordan Boles, Colin White, Owen West, Ethan Ramsey, Michael Gilleland, Marvin Villanueva, Jams Neely, Ethan Sims, Zyon Duncan, Heli Shah, Deseraye Coleman, Kaliyah Robinson, Isabella West, Jules Drye, Liberty Emerson, Angel Serrano, Emma Poulin, Jenna Hollifield, Alyssa Summer, Morgan Duley, Chalmers Bankhead, Wyatt Ingram, Alexander Mestad, Gage Wright, Mason Allen, Justin Chavez, Jordan Hathcock, Peyton Ivey, Mali Love, Caleb Roberts, Jesse Roper, Alex Sullivan, Raheem Elshaye, Kaliyah Robinson, Caitlyn Burry, Austin La’Flamm, and Alyssa Summer were among the winners in their respective divisions.  These competitors showed off their skills in katas with and without weapons and demonstrated martial arts techniques that not only amazed the judges but the spectators as well. Congratulations to all the other competitors on a job well done. The Adult under-belt divisions 18 and above were even more impressive as Hank Phillips Nicole Shackleford, Zacchaeus Moreno-Standfield, Corey Bowen, Ivan Vargas, Edward Burris, Robert Marshall, Stephanie Green, and Heather Shook took first place in their divisions by demonstrating concentration and more precise martial arts techniques.

In the Junior Black Belt divisions, Cassidy Mueller and Toby Willis gave the spectator and awesome view of   their skills by demonstrating more intense concentration in their techniques and skills proving that with practice and determination all things get even better.  The Adult Black Belt divisions are always the highlight of the event as Elizabeth Lapp, Rickie Maddox, Eddie Harvey, Dale Harvey, Joe Wheeler, Ricardo Sanchez, Clint Moore, Johnny Blackmon, Darryln Evans, and Selena Stowe not only showed off their skills and techniques in katas but demonstrated self-control techniques in sparring.

All First Place winners received beautiful 4 ft trophies and other competitors received smaller trophies or medals for their participation in the event.  All Black Belt Judges received Appreciation Award Plaques for their support during the event.  As always Sabumnim Charles Burris, the students, staff and family made this event even more pleasurable by their attitude, helpfulness and by being all-round fun loving people.  Looking forward to next year’s event 42nd Annual Winter/Spring Festival Open as I know it will prove to be one of the best ever.

Grand Champions
Black Belt Kata – Rickie Maddox
1st Runner Up – Selena Stone
Black Belt Sparring – Clint Moore
Black Belt Executive Sparring – Ricardo Sanchez
1st Runner-up – Johnny Blackmon

Next Dojo Organization sanctioned event is:
Date: June 9, 2018
Event: Martial Arts Explosion
Place: Rock Hill, SC
Sanction: AAA
Promoter: Sensei Darryl Evans: 803-389-3644