The Ocean State Grand Nationals is an historic event and a cornerstone of the North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA) circuit in the New England area. The 2015 event was held April 10-12, 2015 and featured some of the top players in the sport. In men’s team sparring, Team Paul Mitchell ended on top with Team Next Level in second place. Paul Mitchell did not stop there with wins in men’s team sparring as Zsolt Moradi of Hungary took the men’s heavyweight title and Justin Ortiz of Florida as the lightweight champion. For the women’s Paul Mitchell’s Gina Thornton went all the way with the grand championship title for women’s point sparring.
Tyler Weaver and Mackensi Emory won the synchronized team title and then went on to win individual grand championship titles as well. Weaver won the men’s weapons grand championship title and the men’s forms title. Mackenzie Emory was also a double winner in women’s weapons and forms. Jackson Rudolph was the 14-17 boys weapons winner to bring home more titles for the team.
The most impactful moment of the event was the tribute to Kevin Thompson as he fights ALS. The new “Kick Through ALS” campaign was launched and Kevin Thompson himself came to the stage and was able to break a board that was held by his son. Afterwards, the entire team broke boards in tribute.
Other winners at the event were Aidan Considine in 13 & under forms, Jake Presley in 13 & under weapons, Sammy Smith in 14-17 forms and Jarrett Leiker for men’s traditional forms.
After the excitement of the black belt competition, Sunday was filled with underbelts to end the event. Another Ocean State Grand Nationals ended with great success as sport karate invaded New England.