Saturday January 29th 2011 was the date for the 2010 TKO state championships. This years state championships were held at the Lake Olympia Middle School Gymnasium in Missouri City, Texas. Wayne Nguyen, founder of the Texas Karate Organization and Dewy Sutton are the top officials of the TKO. They took every consideration to make this years state championship the best yet. Competitors came from all over the state of Texas for a chance to win one of the specially struck state championship belts.
Al Ducascos, father of the world famous actor Mark Ducascos was at the tournament hanging out with Gary Lee. Al was also signing autographs and getting his picture take with fans. Al Ducascos is one of the top soft style grand masters with schools all over the world and a long list of his own accomplishments that include TV and movie appearances that have made him a house hold name in the west coast martial arts scene. He is particularly famous in the European regions for the many schools and competitions he and his students preside over.
Starting at 10:30 AM allowed many competitors to wake up and get warmed up before the competition. Junior under black belt divisions started off the event and progressed into the adult under black belt groups. A lot of very talented martial artist were showcasing their skill. It was obvious that many hours of training were paying off for those who applied themselves. Under black belt forms and fighters put it into overdrive for a shot at the title. Moms and dads were routing for their kid and teams adding to the excitement of the whole event.
Black belt divisions started later in the day to allow all the under black belt divisions to finish. The junior black belt forms and fighters were awesome. David Tate was on top in the junior black belt divisions winning multiple titles and adding to his vast number of championships over the past two years. Junior black belt sparring champion Colby Northcutt added to her countless number of victories with a big win in a large girls 14 to 17 sparring division. Sage Northcutt ended up taking on David Tate in a great point sparring match. As time ran down Sage was ahead and won the division.
Adult black belt forms champions were no less spectacular with an array of well known champions vying for their 2010 belt. William Sheldon of Dallas was on top of the senior black belt forms and weapons with a sweep of those divisions. Chad Cannon was undefeatable in forms with his win in the men’s black belt creative divisions. Chance Turner was on fire in adult black belt weapons winning in the 18 plus hard creative division and Alfredo Bustamonte won in adult black belt traditional forms.
In the black belt sparring, both men and women did a great job in their bid for a title. Udo Sohn of Germany won the senior black belt sparring division. Ashley Woods was the adult female top champion with her Walt Mason grand championship award win in the women black belt point sparring . A particularly great fight occurred between Jason Holmes ( J Dog) and Chad Cannon. This was a close fight that went down to the wire. An exciting fight by two NBL World Champions that added to the prestige of the whole event. After an awesome display of tactical skill and technique, Chad narrowly fended off J Dog for his win in the men’s black belt middle weight sparring.
Men’s point sparring grand championship came down to Chad Cannon and Chance Turner. Both are on Team Gypsy but that didn’t stop them from going at it in a tough contest for the money and state grand championship title. After a great back and forth contest Chad Cannon emerged as the 2010 TKO men’s Walt Mason Award black belt sparring grand champion.
The junior forms grand championship division was big. David Tate ended up winning the 2010 TKO Walt Mason State Junior Grand Championship after a lengthy competition. Chad Cannon, Chance Turner and Alfredo Bustamonte competed for the adult forms Walt Mason Award grand championship. Chad Cannon ran a great creative open hand form. Alfredo Bustamonte ran Gojushiho Dai, a traditional open hand form. But it was to be Chance Turner and his dynamic bo staff weapons form that was the judges choice taking home the 2010 Walt Mason adult black belt forms grand champion.
The 2010 TKO State championship concluded at 4:30 PM. A special thanks to Cindy Gallio, Chris Gallio, Regina Thompson, Wade Kirkpatrick, Daryl Stewart, Joseph Pruitt, Norman and Mickey Roberts, Dewey Sutton and wife, and all the other great black belts for their help in judging and help in making this event run smoothly. Congratulations to all the competitors and the new state champions.