Set in the City of Brotherly Love – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – the 2015 Amerikick Internationals held March 20-21, 2015. The venue was the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the turn out was a huge jump from prior years with divisions packed with talent. The promoters went all out for 2015, striking a deal with Comcast SportsNet to broadcast the event finals on various channels. Overall the atmosphere was one of excitement.
It was a crazy night to open the 2015 Amerikick Internationals Martial Arts Championships. The Presley boys (Cole and Reid) took the synchronized weapons division. In synchronized forms, little Aidan Considine and Danny Etkin (okay, they are not so little anymore) got another win as Team Emig went undefeated in synchronized teams.

We were able to see all the men’s forms and weapons divisions and it was a great night for Reid Presley as he took home wins in a couple of divisions to assure a berth in the run offs in both disciplines. Michael Guthrie managed to pull of a win in the men’s extreme form division. Cole Eckert took a win in musical weapons while Steven So was the creative forms winner.

In the men’s open weight eliminations, the men were battling for the one spot in the finals. Pablo Moreno was able to fight his way through a number of close fights and come back from deficits. His final fight was against Anthony Merricks. The two went into overtime and it was Moreno who came out the winner after numerous exchanges.

Team Impex won the women’s team sparring competition to lay the gauntlet for team sparring competition. However, the talk of the night was men’s team sparring. Team All Stars were in town looking for a win but there were plenty of other teams at the ring looking to take the title as well. One of those teams was Team Impex. Ross Levine, Jason Grenier and Avery Plowden faced Team All Stars in a semi-final round. In the first round, Ross Levine of Impex faced new All Star Kevin Walker. Levine used his experience to get a 5 point lead over Walker and Impex never looked back. Jason Grenier neutralized the formidable Raymond Daniels in round two to prevent Impex from getting back in the game. In the final round, Avery Plowden used the ring wisely against Jack Felton and Impex ended the fight with an 8 point lead to advance.

Impex then took on another strong opponent – Team WKF. WKF kept it close but Impex had its sight on the finish line to win and take the men’s team sparring title at the 2015 Amerikick Internationals.

On Saturday, the excellent competition continued. Shahin Jahanvash made sure to get a chance on the stage with a win in bladed traditional weapons. Brett Thomason continues to impress and was the winner in Korean forms.

In women’s fighting, the two top lightweights faced off in the semi-finals with Morgan Plowden soundly defeating Gina Thornton to advance to the stage for the finals in women’s sparring. Nikki Pelland overcame Carolyn Langston in for the middleweight position.

In men’s fighting. Daniel Schulte debuted as an adult and ended up taking the light welterweight division after defeating powerhouses Willie Hicks and Jorge Morales. Schulte’s march to the finals came to an end when welterweight winner Jack Felton eliminated Schulte and moved on to face John Curatolo who had eliminated Quinn Purdy. In the fight for the Lightweight grand championship, Felton overcame Curatolo to be crowned the lightweight grand champion.

Avery Plowden steadily advanced in the middleweight divisions first defeating Pablo Moreno and then moving on to face Josh Horwege for the middleweight championships. In overtime, Plowden defeated Horwege and moved on to face Raymond Daniels who had defeated challengers like Ross Levine and Jason Grenier to take the heavyweight berth.

The match between Plowden and Daniels was for the heavyweight overall grand championship title. The two round fight opened with Daniels up 3-0. Plowden then dislocated his shoulder on a technique. He was repaired and the fight continued but then Plowden was visibly injured at the same spot and the fight ended with Daniels taking the heavyweight grand championship title.

With the Amerikick Finals Live Streamed on SMA-TV, the crowd in the house and thousands at home prepared for some amazing action. Wisconsin’s Team Infinity was a highlight of the nigh show with their demo team performance that took the demo team title. In synchronized teams, the new combo of Danny Etkin and Aidan Considine, representing Team Emig, was the winner.

In junior forms and weapons, Aidan Kennedy of Philadelphia flipped and spun his bo to a grand championship win in the 13 & Under weapons grand championships. And Kennedy was not done with a single title – his forms routine was also the best of the contenders as Kennedy took a second grand championship title in 13 & Under forms at Amerikick 2015.

They say the middle child gets overlooked but Cole Presley of Tennessee – the middle of the Presley brothers – proved them wrong with a grand championship win in the 14-17 weapons grand championships. As though he wanted to be sure everyone took notice, Presley was back again in 14-17 forms and he was able to defeat all challengers again and take a second title for the night.

Nikki Pelland and Morgan Plowden had a great fight with a close score. However, it was Plowden with the win as she defeated Pelland 11-7 and was crowned the women’s sparring grand champion.

Becca Ross was able to overcome Payton Foley for the women’s weapons grand championship title. Ross did it again with a win over Foley and Amanda Law in women’s forms to take home title number two for the evening.

One perfect ten and a bunch of 9.99s solidified the grand championship win in men’s weapons for Reid Presley, the oldest of the Presley brothers. Not to be outdone by little brother Cole, Reid also took the win in the men’s forms grand championship competition with his high flying moves.

The men had a number of rounds throughout the finals to fight down to the final two for the Open Weight Championships. Pablo Moreno made it through his first round against Germany’s Rene Perez to advance. Ross Levine eliminated Ryan George in his semi-finals match.

Raymond Daniels next faced Pablo Moreno with Daniels taking the win with a 5-2 score. Daniels advanced to the final fight for the Open Weight Challenge. The final two fighters were Jack Felton and Ross Levine. Although Felton was on the board first, Levine easily came back and prevented Felton from controlling the fight. In the end, Levine was the 7-4 winner and advanced to face Daniels for the final title round.

The final fight between Ross Levine and Raymond Daniels was one for the history books. Levine opened strong, getting a quick 6-3 lead over Daniels in round one. In round two, Daniels settled himself, and started the uphill climb for a comeback. The round included Levine attacking Daniels right off the stage and knocking down the Amerikick backdrop, tie scores and intensity. With the fighters needing to win by two points, the match went into sudden victory overtime when time ran out with Daniels up 8-7. The two exchanged point after point until finally Daniels was able to get the two point advantage and the coveted win.

It was an exciting ending to an amazing event. Amerikick 2015 – one for the history books!