2014 was the inaugural year of the KRATOS World Karate Championships and promoters Tom and Melissa Sommerville went all out. Daytona Beach, Florida has been the site of a number of great events in the past but none for over a year. On September 20, 2014, KRATOS brought Daytona back with huge cash prizes, a great mascot, a fantastic location and facility – the first year was a great success. The KRATOS (god of war) mascot was a nice touch that looked great in all the award photos.
The Superfight divisions brought top competitors like Team Paul Mitchell’s Justin Ortiz, and Team Bring It’s Ryan George and Victor Suarez. With Florida being home to a large contingent of top competitors, it was great to see support from Team Paul Mitchell’s Kyle Montagna and Bring It’s Drew Derrick-Bisbee in forms and weapons, Jennifer Espina in forms, weapons and – sparring (yes she fought), Robyn Lebuffe and Melanie Ortiz in fighting and Haley Glass of Team Infinity in the juniors.
The under belt competitors started the day and they worked hard. The future of the sport was demonstrated by the performance and black belts looked on with interest as they viewed their future challengers.
Women’s sparring offered some great fights with Jennifer Espina surprising all by winning her division after her great weapons and forms performances. When the dust cleared, it was Melanie Ortiz defeating Robyn Lebuffe for the overall women’s title and the KRATOS belt.
Espina did not go home empty handed with her win in adult creative weapons. Special mention to Kyle Montagna who debuted a new move that had his bo floating on his back while he spun no-handed. You have to see the video to believe it! Montagna went on to win the adult traditional weapons championship title.
In forms, it was Drew Derrick-Bisbee all the way with the 35 and over grand championship title. He went home extra proud because his son Quinn won his junior traditional weapons division. Stephannie Figueroa was the overall winner in the adult creative/extreme forms championships and got a lot of support from her new school and students who were in attendance. There was one junior overall grand championship for 17 & under weapons and forms and the overall winner was little Haley Glass.
An adult executive grand championship competition was offered and Marcal Lazenby, Sr of Georgia took this title home. For the younger guys, Victor Suarez had the best event he could remember. He faced teammate Ryan George and was able to get the win and his first ever overall sparring grand championship. Suarez had another chance as he was in the finals for the men’s Superfight competition. This time he faced Justin Ortiz and Ortiz was able to walk away the winner with the huge KRATOS belt.
The premiere KRATOS event set the stage for more to come. The event is striving to be a great one in the sport karate world and it inaugural performance was a great foundation. Congratulations to all who participated as sport karate is back in Daytona.