2021 Ninja Challenge

2021 Ninja Challenge

Once again, I ventured to the Doubletree Hilton Grand Hotel in North Houston for the advent of another prestigious TKO/TNT martial arts event on 3/20/2021 produced by the world-famous Wayne Nguyen. Wayne is the founder of the TKO Organization and after having produced karate tournaments for over 25 years he is an expert at the art of martial arts production.

This same venue has been the location of several late 2020 and 2021 martial arts events. The TKO has evolved over the last 21 years to include kick boxing, breaking, ground fighting/grappling, full contact sparring and stick fighting, and all are combined in these current TKO/TNT events.

The TKO is basically the martial arts part of these events with the TNT representing the grappling and full contact side of these events with well over one hundred divisions being represented. It always amazes me how the sheer ambiance becomes energy filled with excitement and are the trademark of tournaments. I also competed and was consumed with the self-fulfilling sense of oneness and an extreme adrenaline rush that has never stopped for me in over 45 years of competition spanning 5 decades. Just attending and competing can be addicting and self-fulfilling in its nature giving a person a feeling of accomplishment.

This event was a standard for skill, power and domination over your competitors. It is inevitable that people are pushed beyond their boundaries resulting in an endorphin filled high. Coming down off this can be a tranquilizing emotional release. Of course, the down side is the possibility of injuries and they happen, and it is the inevitable consequences in all events involving human contact and stress, not just your body but in your mind. This tournament was no exception.

I was grateful to be among so many other great youth and adult champions who were pushing themselves to the edge to be victorious and add to their experience in life and as martial artist. Hanging out with old and new friends is one of my favorite reasons to be part of these events.

Now as the tournament progressed it produced both expected and unexpected results with parents and attendees expressing their excitement elevating the energy that we all seem to thrive on. Youth divisions and adult competition have the same consequence being involved with the pleasure of watching and participating in an undeniable rush.

This whole event finalized by 4PM. The grand championships completed the event. It was a wonderful day of excitement and fun in the martial arts. Complements go to the many TKO Producers and hardworking personal of the TKO.

Grand Championship Results

Youth Beginner Grands participants were Devin Cruze, Nicholette Alaniz, and Alessandra Woods with Devin winning the grands.

Youth Intermediate Grands participants were Brady Clayton, Zachary Reichlino, Samuel Beltran, Emanuel de Leon, Aiden Kucdera, Zane Wilson, Emma Nuel, Champ Mejia, Harley Aguizora and Liollian Giutta. Zachary Reicwas the intermediate youth Grand Champion.

Youth Advanced Grands participants were Audrey McDrigal, Victoria Suarez, Adriana Medrano, Yahir Ronguillo and Alexander Avila with Victoria Suarez winning the Grands.

Adult Under Black Belt Grands participants were Nathalie Beltran, Roseir Wiley and Joseph Raiffeisen with Joseph Raiffeisen winning the adult underbelt Grands

Junior Black Belt Grands participants were Annalise Bolen, Cheeks Elizondo, Miguel Avelland, Aaron Pham, Christina Spongy and Taylor Jacobs with Miguell Avelland winning the junior Black Belt Grand championships

Adult Black Belt Forms Grands participants were Johnnie Murphy, Rommel Gargoles and Rommel’s top soft style student with Rommel Gargoles winning the Adult Black Belt Grand championships. Men’s Black Belt Sparring Grand Championships finalized with a battle between Preston Sennet and Willie Hicks with “The Road Warrior” Willie Hicks winning.