photo of team sparring at Quebec Open 2011

Team All Stars and Germany's Top Ten pose after men's team sparring.

There was a buzz in the air as hundreds of spectators entered the venue for the 2011 Quebec Open.  Held in Quebec City, Canada the weekend of April 29-30, 2011, the Quebec Open is famous for its nighttime show and after party. We were ready for it all.  The event also drew competitors from all over the world with prominent fighters and performers from many different countries and continents.  Throughout the tournament it was very evident Clermont had a close knit relationship with the Quebec community. As the venue filled up to the brim with spectators so did the energy for the nighttime show.

Team Sideswipe opened with an entertaining demo based on bullying. It was a mix of karate, acting, and dancing. The in sync moves and tricks along with the various tempos of movement kept the crowd engaged and cheering. Staying true to supporting the Quebec community, a local, vibrant dance group rocked the stage next. Their bright outfits and fast paced moved kept the audience’s attention.

Jackson Rudolph started off the Under 13 Weapons Grands with a big bang. His lightening fast bo flashed it’s way around the stage stirring up the energy in the crowd. Amanda Chen demanded attention with her solid traditional bo performance and Sammy Smith was on point sticking her stances and landing her tricks with her extreme chucks. Yet the females weren’t able to out do Jackson who walked away with the overall win.

Stephanie Figueroa was the first to perform in the 14-17 Weapons Grand. She was consistent with her strong strikes throughout her traditional sword performance. Mackensi Emory almost lost her Kama but held on to finish her form. Cole Eckert performed with a traditional bo. In the end, it was Vinnie Scarduzio who wowed the crowd and the judges with his awesome shoulder neck variations with a flashy bo.

Matt Emig of Team Paul Mitchell kicked off the men’s form grand championships with a form packed full of tricks. He pulled off a cheat 720 photo of Matt Emig

Matt Emig in action during the night finals.

twist in the middle of a difficult combination. He took first over Kyle Montagna’straditional form and Mickey Lee’s soft style.

Caitlin Dechelle kept the Paul Mitchell win streak going with a win the women’s form grands by mixing things up with her form. She kept it high energy and jam packed with tricks including a pop front kick to webster. Her competition, Giselle Segura and Nikki Stanley, both did traditional forms that were not enough to bring Dechelle down.

Sammy Smith won the 13 and under overall forms grand championship executing a corkscrew into the splits in her CMX (creative/musical/extreme) form. She beat out Lady Jade Miles’ strong traditional form, Carson Crawford’s CMX, and local competitor Justin’s crowd-moving traditional form.

Local favorite Cynthia Pollack was the first to take the stage for the 14-17 overall for finals and executed a very poised traditional form. Mackensi Emory again proved why she made it to the overalls, as she is one of only two girls that can pull off a 1080. Micah Karns blew up the stage and blew away his competition by starting his form off with a very synchronized use of the Jesus flip.

Another demonstration of promoter Poulin’s commitment to Quebec was the unique division for handicapped martial artists.  Instead of putting these competitors in a corner where no one could see their dedication and hard work, he puts them on stage.  The division allowed various ages and belt levels to perform both open hand and weapons forms. The crowd and judges gave a standing ovation to the martial artists at the end as they proudly displayed their trophies.

Team Pro Am offered an impressive breaking demo that welcomed the crowd back from intermission. Three different sets of blocks were setup on stage and the Pro Am team all came out to support the breaker, who successfully broke all but one block.

Two Canadian overall divisions also made it to stage, demonstrating Quebec’s continuous support of the community and local competitors. For the 17 and under competition, Jeremi Laflamei performed an open hand form. Maxime Rodzinki from Sport Action dazzled the crowd with his bo form. Dennis Vlachos kept the crowd’s attention with his commanding traditional sword performance. Both Charles Olivie Dube and Laurence Brochei performed bo forms as well. In the Candadian Adult Overall competition, Cedric Ferland and Alexandre Baril both did bo forms while Eric Tremblay of Sport Action wowed the crowd with his sword form. Andrew Cabilan finished the division and his competitors off with his commanding traditional form.

Team 100% Performance’s Vincent Scarduzio and Jessica Goldman unveiled a new synchronized pairs form that was very entertaining. They were incredibly in sync and mixed in dance and tricks. It wasn’t enough to hold off Team Paul Mitchell’s Caitlin Dechelle and Marc Canonizado’s duet.  Dechelle and Canonizado had synchronized websters with flashkicks, dance choreography, and a music semix of modern French classical music from the popular French film ‘Amelie’. This was enough for the title this evening.

Team 100% Performance’s whole group were on stage next and showcased their perfection in the area of team demonstration as they continue to win this event at nearly every tournament.

Kalman Csoka, with his double sword performance and charismatic entrance took the men’s overall weapons grand championship, which had a ‘sword theme’ to it. He edged out Marc Caonizado and Mickey Lee (second appearance in the night show) who both performed with swords.  Canonizado relied more on his acrobatics then Csoka and Csoka wowed everyone with his exaggerated sword difficulty.  Caitlin Dechelle continued her winning ways in women’s weapons with her sword wielding, judge pleasing performance over Brittney Walley and Marie Anne.

Only one fight division appeared on stage during the night show, it was North America versus Europe in a team match that would bring bragging rights to the winners. Both teams had 5 amazingly talented fighters. First up was Elias Lemon of Team Paul Mitchell for North America fighting Germany’s Faton Rexhoj. They kept the score close missing one another with kicks but landing the follow thru. Lemon ended up with 3 and Faton 2.

Next up was Canada’s own Samuel Gagnon facing Croatia’s Zvonko Gribl.  Gribl moved around well, but could not get around Gagnon’s leg with Gagnon finishing the match with a 4-1 score.  Michael Pombiero of Team Paul Mitchell could not keep Morten Spissoy from Norway at bay in round three.  Each point scored by Pombiero was returned and ultimately Spissoy won 4-3.

Jason Grenier of Canada was down by two points throughout match four against with Krisztian Faroszleiericz from Hungary, but was able to score three unanswered points before the buzzer to pull ahead. Zsolt Moradi from Hungary was the final fighter for Europe and he tried his best to get his team back into the running for an overall win in his match against Jason Bourelly of Team All Stars.  Moradi, who has defeated even Raymond Daniels in the past, was only able to score one point on Bourelly which result in a low 1-0 final match score.

Leading into the final match with a 3 point lead, Raymond Daniels seemed content with keeping his opponent Laszlo Gombos at a distance. Their movement around the ring was very well synched, as though they were dancing. Each would fake and bob at the same time. I had heard the Europeans study the videos of other fighters and work on predicting what the fighter would do, and how to counter it. It was very clear Gombos was well versed in fighting Daniels. Yet Daniels was the first to score although Gombos retaliated. In the end, North America won with a team score of 17 – 13.

The Quebec Open definitely delivered on its reputation for being a great night show and a fun tournament.  The event drew top competitors and saw such top names as  Matt Emig and Marc Canonizado going head to head in extreme, creative, and musical forms.  The event provided a fluid mix of local competitors with traveling NASKA competitors and was topped off with the always fun after party.