The NBL is still strong in Houston and Texas. For the first time the Jam All Nationals received a national sanctioning. This tournament has evolved since 2009 and has been attended by a host of famous martial artist with Chuck Norris topping the list of A player dignitaries.
Dona’ Pettway was this year’s producer with J’ Dawg Holmes to be next year’s primary Jam all producers in a symbiotic bi-yearly event schedule for the same tournament. DJ Crashhh Pettway was instrumental in making this May 26th and 27th 2017 national a success. J’Dawg “Jason” Holmes assisted with his expertise and hard work.
The Friday night card was packed with the best black belt Forms, weapons and specialty competitors from all over North and South America. Haley Glass, a notable martial artist, competed and was at the top of her game winning several weapons divisions and open kata divisions. Haley is a child actress who’s martial arts prowess won her a shot in the latest Wolverine movie and I felt that her participation here was in need of mention. So listen up, she was discovered by the movie folks on UTube. She ended up in the Saturday Night time finals.
The Friday Night extravaganza ran straight through and included such great adult champions as Rommel Gargoles ruler of soft divisions, Edger Cordoba the Guatemalan legend, Colorado’s own Mr. Biceps – David Coppock and the new sheriff in town.. Tracy Armstead, all made it to the finals. Junior’s displayed enormous skill and talent with Great Champions like Ryan Nathaniel, Isaac Torres and of course Haley Glass throwing down sharp Kata. Continuous, black belt forms, specialty division’s runoffs and all other black belt adult divisions were finalized Friday night.
Saturday morning had some tired looking contestants but as time went on they rose to meet the challenge of the day. I noticed some famous champions from the past along with current greats like Linda Denley, Wayne Nugyen, Chris Gallio, Daryl Stewart, Regina Thompson, Willy Hicks and yours truly… Lol.
There was a special appearance by Legendary Champions Sage and Colby Northcutt. Sage is now under contract with the UFC, and has an up and coming scheduled UFC fight. Colby has a scheduled MMA Legacy fight June 24th. Sage and Colby have more world titles from more organization that anyone else thanks to their father Mark Northcutt. Mark has mentored them since they were children.
Later in the evening the night time finals were ran to give all qualifying black belt champions a chance for the big money and they did not let us down. After a cool team form display the action started with junior creative forms and as one could guess the new sensation Haley Glass was the winner. Tracey Armstead took home the money in adult contemporary forms grands. Junior continuous 11 and under ran next with Alexis Alanze light champion and the lovely Miss Alexa De La O winning heavy division.
Junior team sparring finalized with Team PTKO on top. Ryan Garza won junior traditional forms grand championship and junior Kenpo grand winner was Arjang Far. In the Adult traditional forms grand championship TJ Lopez took out David Coppock, Edgar Cordoba, Clarissa Villlenuva, Chelsie Clark and the great Rommel Gargoles with an amazing traditional Japanese style kata.
Junior traditional Korean grand champion was Thomas Saenz. Again Haley Glass won another junior forms grand champions with her win in the choreographed musical division. Adult contemporary weapons championship was a showdown between Rommel Gargoles, Marco Villenueva, Kristen DiFracesco and Shadi Al-Tawrah in an awesome display of skill and aerodynamics accented by very cool music. Shadi Al-Tawrah ended up on top for his grand championship win with a fast and powerful bo-staff kata.
The men’s senior sparring grand championship was a hard fought fight with Hugo Mendoza overcoming the injured Derrick Wilson. Team sparring fighters were action packed with Team FPK – Willie Hicks, Ryan George and Dwight Bargainer overcoming Team Gipsy with TJ Lopez, Chance Turner and Issac Moreno. Men’s team fights did not disappoint as they went the wall with unparalleled action.
Women’s point grand championship was a technical fight between the Great Regina Thompson and the amazing Kela Meja. Regina Thompson Spivey overcame Kela but not before Kela launched some impressive blitzes. Regina was not to be denied and her ring skill and experience won the day and the money.
Ok here it is… Men’s point sparring war was last. Preliminary fights were Willie Hicks vs Dwight Bargainer with Willie overcoming Dwight. Then Chadd Cannon and Ryan George put on a battle. The fight went back and forth with Ryan overcoming Chad in an impressive series of high speed Louisiana offensive blitzes.
In the last fight for $1,000 dollars Willie Hicks and Ryan George impressed everyone in a fight that went back and forth. Both were evenly matched and are possibly the most skilled point fighters in the NBL. Willy is a master of ring savvy and utilization and Ryan George’s speed dominated the initial parries. Over the years Willie Hicks has fought and been injured so many times by much larger opponents I’m amazed he’s still breathing. But motivated and determined he kept getting back up and going toe to toe with Ryan George. Ryan is a highly polished and skilled fighter with many years of competition in his career and was not to be denied. Both fighters were exhausting every trick in the book as the clock ran down. With seconds left they were only one point apart. Tied and determined, Ryan launched a final all-out assault as Ryan flew over the top to deny Willie Hicks the money for his win and the tournaments men’s 2017 sparring grand championship.
Truly a memorable fight that has given me a new respect for the saying size don’t matter which has unknowingly been Willie Hicks calling in his career. Congratulations to Ryan George for his most impressive win.