The facility handled all the activities beautifully. The gymnasium was spacious, with two entrances controlling the flow of people, and a tiered seating/spectator gallery along one side. The layout was well-organized; a station for purchasing boards for breaking events, and another for raffle tickets and commemorative T-shirts. Master Marc Sattler, surprised us with his own Tang Soo Do artwork on the shirts, copied from his original painting. He also presented his first print to Grandmaster St. James during the opening ceremonies.
A highlight of the opening ceremony was a promotion of three Masters by Grandmaster St. James. Those promoted to 5th Dan were Master Marc Sattler of Meriden Academy of Martial Arts in Meriden, Connecticut, and Master Christian Klacko of Cambridge Tang Soo Do in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Promoted to 4th Dan Master was Mr. Jason Duva also of Cambridge Tang Soo Do in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Grand Champion Cups were presented to Amanda Bleier and Trevor Becker, both from Southbury Academy of Karate in Southbury, Connecticut.
The Meriden Academy of Martial Arts, Cambridge Tang Soo Do, Southbury Academy of Karate, and Apple Valley Family Karate were well represented by their demo teams. We saw creative forms, tumbling and trampoline, self-defense, combat
It was inspiring to watch the youngest students joining the older, or more experienced martial artists - a portrait of how our training embraces all skill levels. Expertise, heartfelt effort, camaraderie, and indomitable spirit filled the room as much as the rousing sound tracks for their performances.
Following the afternoon competitions, a pizza party was held at the Meriden Academy of Martial Arts for those who wanted to continue the celebration into the night.
As the regional schools come together several times a year for events, the faces from different studios become more familiar, and friendships are forged. These tournaments provides an opportunity, through humility and sportsmanship, to convert the energy of competition to fellowship.
Submitted by Deborah Winograd - Cho Dan Bo