Monday, October 23, 2006

AOKA 2006 Tournament - Photos/Info

The 2006 AOKA Tournament was a HUGE SUCCESS - over 350 competitors!
We would like to thank everyone for their help , dedication and support.

Here are some photos and news items:

From the IIKA

News Up-Date

Chairman: JC Burris President: Tommy True

Board Members:

Phil McElroy, Jim McDonald, Willie Wilson, Melbert Lee, Bruce Guillaume,
Jerry Smith, David Gabbard, Sandra Strong, Carol Burris,
Mike Lewis, Don Bordinger, Kelly Markham

Release: All IIKA Personnel
IIKA Fighting Team Wins 2nd World Title
Release Date:
Sunday, October 8, 2006

Members of the International Isshinryu Karate Association Fighting Teams traveled to Newark , New Jersey to compete in Don Nagle’s AOKA World Karate Championship. This year both teams were the seeded defending champions after capturing the World Team Titles at last year’s event.

Everyone spent Friday in the Big Apple taking in the sights and enjoying the city. A team breakfast was held the morning of the tournament and then everyone was off to Bayonne a short distance away from the Hotel.

This year’s attendance at the tournament was much higher than previous years and the crowd was estimated to be between 300 to 400.

As always, Sensei Ralph Passero made everyone feel welcome. Mr. Passero is one of the most gracious tournament host's in the World of Isshinryu, or any other style for that matter.

All in attendance lined up for the bow in and Pledge of Allegiance. Introductions were then made for all the attending Masters. A tribute was presented in memory of Grand Master Don Nagle. A group Kiai was delivered in his honor that I am sure could be heard around the neighborhood.

Ju Dan Ed McGrath spoke to the crowd and then treated everyone to a short demonstration of street techniques, which all seemed to enjoy thoroughly.

Ku Dan Albert Mady from Windsor Canada performed a breaking demonstration for the group and then the tournament was underway.

The children's divisions kicked off the day with Kata and then the Kumite competition. Black Belt Weapon’s Kata was next. At this tournament, all competitors are in one division, Men, Women and Masters all compete together. There were so many competitors, numbering around 40, that everyone was split into two rings to save time. The top 2 were chosen from each ring and then they had to compete again against each other.

Congratulations to Julie Gabbard for an outstanding Kata performance and winning 3rd place for the day. I might add that she was the only women to advance to the finals.

The IIKA Teams were warming up and ready to go for the Team competition, which took place in the two center most rings. The Ladies were up first and the teams lined up to face each other and bow in.

This year’s Ladies challengers were from Master Ernie Temple’s organization and they came ready for a fight.

Everyone completed their fight and looked great. At the end of 5 rounds the score was tied 11 to 11. One more round for total points was determined to be the tie breaker. Sandra Strong led the fight all the way ending with a score of 5 to 1.

After a short celebration the Ladies were presented with their SECOND World Championship Belts.

Next up was the men's divisions. After the eliminations, Ernie Temple’s group was the challenger against our guys.

The action for each round was intense with all fighters dominating their matches. The IIKA Men finished with a final score of 19 to 7.

Congratulations to the IIKA Men's and Women's Fighting teams for successfully defending their World Team Titles!

Individual Competition

In the individual competition Chip Roney placed 2nd in Men's over 35 Black Belt. Josh Jessie placed 2nd in Men's Heavy Weight. Sandra Strong placed 1st in Ladies over 35 Black Belt. Donna Cripps Ambercrombie Placed 1st in Women's Middle Weight Black Belt. Bobbie Humphrey Placed 2nd in Women's Middle Weight Black Belt. Angel Short Placed 3rd in Women's Middle Weight Black Belt.

Lady’s Grand Championship

To determine who would fight for the Lady’s Grand an elimination fight between Sandra Strong and Donna Ambercrombie commenced with Sandra winning 3 to 2. Theresa Barnette was the seeded defending Lady’s Grand Champion from last year and the fight of the year was about to take place. Two rounds for total points is standard for the Grand's, and Sandra and Theresa put on one of the best shows of technique I have seen in some time. The score went back and forth between the two until at the end of the second round the score was tied 11 to 11. Again one more round was fought and everyone was on the edge of their seats watching the action. At the end, Theresa edged Sandra to retain her Championship. What a show between these two! I was proud of them both, and both fought their hearts out showing absolutely great skill. Congratulations go out to both for showing such class and skill, and to Theresa for a GREAT JOB.

After the tournament, Sensei Ralph Passero treated the group to pizza at the Local Big Apple Pizza House where everyone enjoyed the fellowship and talking about the days events.

We want to take time to extend a special thanks to Sensei Passero and all of his group from Bayonne . Thanks also to Master Ernie Temple for his fighting team’s participation and competitive spirit. You guys are a CLASS ACT.

Thanks to Master Tommy True and all of the IIKA Board for their support of the group and our efforts to represent the IIKA .

Way to go team! Let’s get ready for next year and a THREE PEAT! God Willing.

From the IIKA Board of Directors and everyone throughout our association, congratulations on another brilliant performance. As always, your representation of the IIKA through your technical skills, competitive spirit and sense of decorum continue to distinguish you as premier Isshinryu Karate-Ka.

Thank you for your hard work and tireless efforts to promote the IIKA both in and out of competition. You are all shining examples of Good Will Ambassadors, IIKA members and Isshinryu practitioners.

News Up-Date

Chairman: JC Burris President: Tommy True

Board Members:

Phil McElroy, Jim McDonald, Willie Wilson, Melbert Lee, Bruce Guillaume,
Jerry Smith, David Gabbard, Sandra Strong, Carol Burris,
Mike Lewis, Don Bordinger, Kelly Markham

Release: All IIKA Personnel

Subject: Don Nagle AOKAINC World Open Isshinryu Team Championship

Release Date: October 9, 2006



Both teams are great representatives of the IIKA and their fighting spirit, and their overall personalities are an example for all martial artists to follow.

Sincerely, Ralph Passero

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