The Compete Internationals is the premiere West Coast event for the North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA). It is a world level event on the NASKA tour and is always a great battleground as competitors jostle for standings early in the season. Held February 26-28, 2015 in Ontario, California’s huge Ontario Convention Center the 2015 event saw a sizeable jump in under belt competitors while maintaining a formidable level of black belt competition.
In 2014, Tyler Weaver made his adult debut at Compete Internationals with some impressive wins in weapons and forms. 2015’s youth sensation was Jacob Pinto who debuted in the men’s creative, extreme and musical divisions for weapons and forms. Although Pinto didn’t fare well in men’s weapons divisions with Reid Presley and his double bos dominating, Pinto propelled himself to the stage with a win in men’s extreme forms.
The daytime eliminations also brought a surprise in the synchronized forms competition as Team Emig’s two members, Aidan Considine and Danny Etkin, performed their radical new routine. They faced Tyler Weaver and Mackensi Emory of Team Paul Mitchell who have been cleaning up in the division for the past few years. Oddly enough, all four of the competitors were once members of Team Emig as well. Considine and Etkins’ hard work paid off as they defeated Weaver and Emory and headed to the stage.
Defending champion Jack Felton was on hand to try and hold on to his Compete Internationals men’s point sparring title. He brought his usual suspects Chris Walker and Jamal Albini and amongst the three of them, they managed to capture three of the on-stage spots for men’s sparring. Chris Walker took the lightweight grand title, Jack Felton was the welterweight title winner, Jamal Albini won for middleweights and Joseph Bowman was the lone non-All Star who took the heavyweight title.
It was another outstanding year for young Aidan Kennedy in the 13 and under category. He nearly did not make it to stage in forms as a tie with Mason Stowell during the run offs caused some nail biting but Kennedy prevailed. 2014 saw Kennedy with one overall grand champion title in forms. Kennedy was determined to top that in 2015 and he was successful. Kennedy flipped, kicked and yelled his way into double grand championship titles.
In women’s fighting, Ashley Christensen made the trip all the way from Minnesota to get some warm California sun and compete. She took home a tan and the women’s overall point sparring title for the event. The fighting competition for men is split into an overall Lightweight grand championship where the lightweight overall winner fights the welterweight overall winner. This pitted teammates Chris Walker against Jack Felton assuring an All Star win. Despite being on the same team, the two fought it out with Felton coming out on top with another Compete Internationals title. For the heavyweight title the middle weight overall winner would face the heavyweight overall winner. Jamal Albini was a slow starter against Joseph Pearson but eventually picked up the pace to get the win and the title.
In the 14-17 divisions, Jackson Rudolph was unstoppable with his bo routine to take the overall weapons championship. He was joined by Danny Etkin who got two titles for the night. Etkin was the 14-17 forms overall grand champion and he also secured the synchronized forms title with his teammate Aidan Considine. Speaking of teams, Team Infinity of Wisconsin did what they seem to do best – won the team demo title for the event.
Tyler Weaver has a big challenge this year – all the talent in his divisions! He faced off against the best in men’s weapons – facing the number one adult weapons competitor Reid Presley. Weaver turned on the heat and came away with the men’s weapons title. Payton Foley is a name you may not have heard often but will be hearing a lot of in the future. She put her traditional skills to the test on stage in women’s forms and went home with the Compete title.
As mentioned, new adult competitors seems to really shine at Competes and 2014 was no exception. Jacob Pinto took the stage in men’s forms and also took the overall grand championship. Mackensi Emory competed for the first time in the women’s divisions and was on stage for the women’s weapons grand championship. Emory ended up winning the women’s overall title with her kama routine.
The 2015 Compete Internationals brings sport karate to the West Coast with great NASKA competition and is part of the Open World Tour. The finals were a live stream from SMA-TV as were various events during the eliminations. Check out videos, photos and more from the 2015 Compete Internationals at www.sportmartialarts.com.