Tournament of Champions

black everythingEarly march, We managed to travel down southern Kentucky to compete at a great martial arts tournament. Tournament of Champions is a sport karate event by Marty Eubanks (Son of the late Bluegrass Nationals promoter, Ken Eubanks). He has been branding this regional event nonstop all years. Fortunately, it has paid off quite well for him. Soon as we arrived at the tournament, the registration line was packed!! you feel the energy in the air of the top martial artist in the region seeking to win their divisions. Me and couple of my classmates, whom I consider my brothers, decided to do team fights early that morning followed by our actual division later.

team magic

After a long day, the adult black belt men’s division finally were caught up. The heavyweight division was stacked with an enormous amount of talent. Personally, it was definitely a challenge because it could be anyone’s day to win! Some of the guys I’ve fought or watched them fight. Good thing being off the radar for a while, they didn’t know what I could do. After going through two rounds in eliminations, the fight I would’ve taken me to fight for first place along with my other team, Sean “Goo” Elder (pictured in the red and black) was short by Tray Lazenby of Team Atl. He is very good counter fighter will great speed for a heavyweight. Despite the blows exchanged, he advanced with a score of 6-3 and lost by one point (6-5) for 3rd and 4th to my friend, Ben Franzen (we fought first round during team fights).

Initially, I wasn’t pleased on the performance. However, I have always been my toughest critic. Throughout the day, I pondered on the mistakes taken from our earlier matches. Soon as my cousin (also classmate) gave me a broader perspective, my initial moral took a slight mental shift towards the greater good. Since November, the obsession to win overall grand champion deprived my evaluation of self-improvement. For once, I never took the chance to view the gradual progression upon myself. Sometimes we focus so much on being perfect or winning for a “title” we never try to register our milestones which transpires us to the present. Obtaining fourth place was a great lesson because I gave it my all. No one wants to be second or three best, but if we recognize our steps towards being greater than we all win! Granted, we all are hungry and push each other to better ourselves.

heavyweightsI finally got the chance to do team fights train along some people I admired as a teenager, learned from my strengths and weaknesses, and fellowship with some martial artists. You can’t get any better than that!

#tbt the object of winning


This shot occurred at a regional karate tournament which I won my second grand championship. I recently got back into the tournament scene this past fall. Although I didn’t place as desired, it has pushed me to make myself greater. Extraordinary is the only option.

2010 was a great year because it reflected my journey as a martial artist seeking truth for myself and not from a single source. It was a great moment. However, I was still in the crosswords whether if martial arts was a motivator. Sometimes winning titles doesn’t always determine your happiness. In competition, no one wants to be the loser. Granted, if we all learn something in our battles (inside and outside the ring), then we all walk away as victorious. 2014 will be a different story. It’s time to see if my dedication to the art should pay off!

Jean Franette

Jean Franette is one of the pioneers of the forms division in the sport karate world! Although the techniques are not as advance as for the tricks today, but there is no doubt these guys had the greatest techniques. The beauty of his Kara is how he synchronized the choreography along with the music. Very dynamic and precise. Homage!


“Iron Will”

Back into tournament mode

Not too long ago, I attended a regional martial arts tournament in Louisville held by Master Fred Dillon and family. Considering the fact he’s a martial artist I truly respect, it was no reason to not attend. As expected, the tournament had a great turn out. People from different martial arts circuits came out to support The Dillon family a great event.

Going to a tournament is always like a kid at the candy store. Besides waiting for black belt men to start fighting, there is never a dull moment. Countless faces you have not seen in years; there are of course rivalries, but those are easily unacknowledged. The most amazing feeling was seeing majority of the people who inspired me all under one roof! These guys, Anthony, Juan, Goo, Romeo, Master Sumler from cincinnati, and several others made it worthwhile. The feeling was a incredibly unfathomable release of excitement. I rarely get the chance to fellowship with my martial arts brothers as often. It was like being an adolescent again. Besides my burning desire to become a great martial artist, these guys were my inspiration!

The only problem I have at karate tournaments is the inability to compete. It has been over 6 months since I have competed or sparred with someone else. Its like telling a basketball player he can’t play basketball or a dancer not dancing. Its not going to happen. Not training was not going to be my excuse to not fight (strongly don’t recommend it). I am a fighter at heart!

I fought in the 18-34 heavyweight division. I won my first fight (pictured above). Then I had to fight for 1st and 2nd place. whoever win the fight, they will fight for Overall grand champion. Fighting against one of my rivals for the heavyweight division was pressure. I had him by skill, but the lack of timing/endurance can turn the tables quick! A battle which got the crowd excited while shady judging. The score was a close match, 6 – 4. Honestly, I was not happy getting 2nd place, but there was something more valuable gain then the placing. For not having a trainer while putting on a great show was good enough. Regaining my competitive edge back has motivated me to train harder! Overall, Master Dillon’s tournament was a great event.

Raymond McCallum Vs. Scorpion Burrage

Sometimes I get sick and tired of “traditionalist” and MMA fight claim sport martial arts being useless. When it comes to intensity and entertaining, there is no era better than the 80’s and early 90’s era. Take this fight for instance, you have one of chi-town’s great fighters, Harold “Scorpion” Burrage against Raymond McCallum. This was an interesting match up considering the reputation Scorpion has in the sport martial arts world. Both of these fighters put on a show!! This is one of the best examples what the game is missing today!

Black History Month Tribute: Steve Nasty Anderson

I have concentrated so much attention of the black individuals in the fashion world, I neglected some of the people who made contribution in the martial arts world. One person I am extremely proud to pay a tribute towards Steve “Nasty” Anderson. He is arguably the greatest fighter in sport karate of all time!

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Steve Anderson was the jack of all trades. He could kick and move like a lightweight and punch hard like the heavyweight he was. The amazing about him is the desire to win. Losing was nowhere near his vocabulary. If had to do some trash talking in the process, best believe he is gonna do it!

Fighting in the heavyweight against some big names in sport karate such as Anthony Price, Richard Plowden, Terry Creamer, etc. was a difficult task all of its own! Back in the 1980s, you are talking about having over 30 men in the same division fighting in at 2 rings (whereas today you are lucky to have 12 – 13 people in the division)! He has won title after title and even had a televised fight against Boston TKD’s Billy Blanks.

He truly possess the attitude every fighter should. Steve Anderson is certainly the Muhammad Ali of sport Karate.

House of Fury

This movie was made for quite some time now, but its great to actually see people compete and play in movies with your favorite martial arts stars. Jake Strickland was a national sport karate champion several years back. Its quite interesting both him and Taylor Lautner use the Bo staff.

Here is a scene of the young Jake Strickland displaying his flashy Bo techniques in Jackie Chan’s House of Fury.

Here is Jake

Raymond Daniels vs. Jason Grenier – Team Fights (NEO 2011)

Despite the fact this fight is several months old, Its probably one of the most exciting ones of the year! Raymond Daniels (yeah the guy who looks like Drake, JK) of Team All stars bouts it out again Jason Grenier of Team Full Circle in the team sparring division at the New England Open 2011. Both of these fighters are not known on the national circuit for great basics and quck counters!

The fight was intense which left a surprise result of Grenier winning the match 4-2. The footage is from sport martial arts

Linda Denley

For those people out there who believe sport martial arts never got down (especially the female fighters), feast your eyes on this. The woman you see in this video

Master Linda Denley is a 6th Dan Korean Style martial artist (Tang soo do)  is unarguably the best woman fighter of all time! Hailing from Houston, Texas with the nickname, “The Texas Terror”, was given based on her heavy hitting strikes. This ruthless attitude not only made number one from 1973 to 1996, but being undefeated for 9 years (7 years without a getting a point on) is the tip of the Iceberg not counting the endless national and international championships.

Her accomplishments decided for her to own a successful number of martial arts schools which she teach her students to not only excess in martial arts, but use it as a template towards everyday life.

Her athleticism also landed her in working world renown martial artist Chuck Norris (Sidekicks) and Jackie Chan (Armour of God).They say it ain’t nothing like old school and I must say they don’t many women fighters like her today #knownfact


720 = National Tricking Day

I will say this, I don’t try to trick or say I am great tricker, but I do support the movement. Most importantly, support the people who has paved the way for other martial artist to exhibit their martial arts techniques. This era tends to focus less on the kicking, which the result look like hardcore tumbling or cheerleading (that was a joke)..

Old me old skool because if it doesn’t have a kick in it, I could care less. Anywho , I discover this video someone made throughout the years of tricking.