coverage of the 2011 Pacific Jewel Nationals

Jeff Doss shows off his great kicks in the finals at the 2011 Pacific Jewel Nationals

It was a great weekend in the Pacific Northwest on May 6-7, 2011 in Vancouver, Washington, where Noah and Deanna Bertsch proudly host the Pacific Jewel Nationals, one of the classiest and nicest events in the nation.  Even with pouring rain all weekend long, you couldn’t help but be excited.  The fresh mountain air provided a perfect environment for great competition and fun times.

Daytime eliminations were as exciting as ever.  Competitors from the US, Canada, Mexico and Guatemala all competed to earn their spot in the finals.  Team Pinnacle and Team Proper could be seen everywhere in the building, and mostly dominating the event.  Jeff Doss and Josh Durbin were seen taking the creative divisions by storm, while Proper’s fighters made coach Junior Salientes proud with their performances.

The night started off with the Boy’s Team Sparring division.  The trio of Mauricio Lama, Geng-Geng Arceo and John Manuel representing Team Quake City Hitters faced off against Angel Caliz, Bobby Seronio and Keyon Allen representing Team Proper.  After Proper took a 5-3 lead in the first fight, there was no turning back as Seronio and Allen would maintain and extend the lead over Quake City, allowing them to walk out the victors.


The next division on the bill was the Junior Choreographed Musical Forms Grand.  Newcomers Matthew Hernandez and Blake Casey faced contemporary finals star Karina Hipolito.  Hernandez and Casey’s tricks weren’t enough to get them the win over Hipolito this night, however.  With her kicks that almost defy physics, young Karina kept her momentum going from winning the Golden Gate Nationals Grand.  Speaking of defying physics, Josh Durbin led the charge for the Adult Contemporary Grand division.  Along with Jeff Doss and Kyle Hatfield, this division was one of the most entertaining of the night.  Doss and Durbin were neck and neck, but it would take more than an elbow drop from Doss to defeat Durbin, as he too continued his momentum from GGN, securing the grand and another win for Pinnacle Martial Arts.

After a quick judge change, it was time for Junior Continuous Sparring divisions.  Nicholas Garcia all the way from Guatemala was unable to beat out Dominic “Little G” Rubalcava of Team Alchemy, in the 55- division.  Taya Pickard of Purple Dragon Martial Arts fell to Dallas Stockdale of Team Fresh in the 77- division, while Sean Villacarlos of Seronio Martial Arts (in his first NBL tournament) defeated Roman K-D, also of Purple Dragon Martial Arts in the 99- division.  In the all female Lightweight Division, Karina “The Terminator” Perea of Team Alchemy was able to defeat Mihaela Keller of Team Ezra.  And finally, in the most closely contested bout of the evening, Cedilla Calva defeated Courtney Leal 106-104 for the Female Middleweight division.

After another judge change, it was time from the Contemporary Weapons divisions.  First in the Junior Choreographed Musical Weapons Grand, Karina Hipolito was at it again this time against Canadian Trevor Brownell, setting up a rematch from GGN one month ago.  Hipolito would avenge her loss in California this night though, as she defeated Brownell for her second grand of the night.  Next for the Adults, Josh Durbin faced off against Jimmy Nguyen and the returning Ashley “Mocha” Davies.  Although Mocha and Nguyen put on great performances, Durbin would make it a clean sweep for Pinnacle, as he took home his own second grand of the night.

Next was more sparring, starting off with the Senior Men’s Division.  Dave Coppock and Doug Bertrand pounded one another, with Bertrand emerging victorious.  Next up was Men’s Teams.  Team Proper’s Patrick Salientes, Leon Jefferson and Bryan Young faced off against Schumann’s, featuring Andres Garcia, Hugo Mendoza and Jonathan Chavez.  After close contested fights, the speed of Proper was too much for Schumann’s to overcome, as they took home the win 14-13 in overtime.

Traditional Forms was next, starting with the Junior Japanese Grand.  Brandon Aquino, Logan Verzosa and Taylor Lynch faced off in an intense division.  After the scores came out, Lynch proved victorious securing another victory for Pinnacle.  After the Junior Japanese, the adults took the stage for the Adult Traditional Grand.  Rommel Gargoles, newcomer adult Colbey Northcutt, Jeff Doss, Mocha Davies and Brandon Bertsch all wowed the crowd with their renditions of traditional kata.  When it was all said and done, no one could match the power and intensity of Brandon Bertsch’s new bo form, as the Oregon native took home the grand.  Next in the Junior Korean grand, Adryanne Angat faced Pinnacle’s Mara Hipolito.  Angat’s clean technique proved to be key, as she took home the grand for Team Proper.

Finally it was time for the Men’s and Women’s point sparring grands.  Carson Lipps tried his luck against the hardest man to photograph in sport karate, lighting quick Willie Hicks.  Hicks would eventually force the ten point spread and advancing to the next round.  Leon Jefferson and Bryan Young faced off in a rematch from GGN as well, with the same result as Jefferson moved on to face Hicks.  In the women’s final, Colbey Northcutt’s first adult grands opponent was Proper’s Joselyn Espinosa.  The newcomer would overcome Espinosa, however, earning her first adult grand in the NBL.  In the men’s final, Willie Hicks aforementioned speed was too much for Jefferson to contain, giving him the win.

PJN 2011 was a great follow up to the GGN in the West-Pac National Conference.  We can’t wait to see the Battle of the Champions and Sin City Rumble take over where the Jewel left off!