The Grand Slam Open Nationals offered amazing performances and family-friendly atmosphere
The Grand Slam Nationals prides itself on a true family affair for karate. This tournament had grown from a regional event, to a national stop on the NBL tour that the Doss family can take immense pride in. Held near historic Richmond, Virginia the weekend of April 15-16, 2016, the Grand Slams offers a very unique event called North vs South. Jr Team Sparring. In this event, the 5 person teams are selected from the winners of the Saturday brackets and then paired by age and by the location of the competitor to create a team. For example if you won Boys 11-13 and are from New York you would be on the North team. If you lived in Atlanta, you would be placed on the South.This type of setup randomises the team selection and creates in exciting match up. Before the Jr’s of the newly formed teams threw down we had to get a few other divisions out of the way first.
The night time finals we set up in a different way that allowed for the amazing light shows but it also enabled everyone a great view of the show. Using bleachers, the spectators surrounded the ring giving it a true stadium look and feel. In Adult contemporary weapons Kyle Pterosky managed to separate himself from pack of who’s who in the elite of weapons performers to take the belt buckle and first place. Oh, we didn’t mention that you got a one of a kind award for winning grands? You need to follow us on twitter and instagram to see some of the pictures. After an amazing Trick battle we were set for the North vs South. The battle was on from the beginning with the North taking an early lead. It was truly impressive to see these junior warriors who were just placed together to work together as a team. After an amazing comeback the South captured the gold!
When it came to sparring, Regina Thompson continued her dominance to win the overall for womens. Meanwhile over in the men’s division Willie Hicks wowed the crowd with jumping and counter kicks to put an exclamation mark and an already dominate performance. Hicks, who sought out SMA when we arrived promised a one of a kind performance after under-performing a few weeks ago in Canada. He delivered 100 percent.
The smooth running Grand Slam Open came to a smooth end and promised more invitations and surprises for next year.