Beaumont is well known for oil and at the turn of the 20th century Spindletop was also the first mega oil field. It was discovered on January 10th, 1901, with the first big oil strike that exploded out as an enormous geyser that rose to over 200 feet from the oil rig it spouted out of. Coming from the areas Louann Salt dome evaporate layer from the Jurassic geologic period and was near Beaumont in Jefferson County. This Spindletop oil filled salt dome was America’s energy powerhouse for decades from which massive quantities of crude oil has been supplied for almost a century.
This city has produced many martial arts champions and has been a major player in the largest martial arts circuits in Texas and the surrounding states, for half a century. This year’s first TKO in person martial arts tournament in Beaumont since the 2020 covid-19 was the Samurai Showdown. It was the product of Mike Berryhill and his karate organization. Attending this tournament were some of the greatest sport karate champions in the last 30 years.
The Samurai Showdown was held June 12th, 2021, at the beautiful Legacy Christian School. Karate practitioners from all over Texas and Louisiana came for a shot at some real competition and a fun day of Martial arts competition. The many disciplines included Karate, Kung Fu, Kick Boxing, Breaking, grappling and stick Fighting.
Mike Berryhill and the other TKO promoters were on hand to officiate and run the tournament. I will say TKO Tournaments are attended by the most pleasant and polite people anywhere as is the case at most martial arts events. Wayne Nguyen the founder of the TKO League and his family were there to oversee the leagues standards and event efficiency.
The tournament was attended by a large crowed and was finalized by 3:30. The Grands were ran at the end. Beginner, intermediate, advanced and black belt grands were ran last. The grand championships included both youth and adult grand championships. Oscar Gamino performed a great kama kata and won the black belt forms grand championship taking home the coveted Samurai Sword trophy and cash. In Willie Hicks final fight he overcame Nathan Winkelman to win the black belt men’s sparring grand championship. Regina Thompson won the women’s grand championship.
This was a fun day of martial arts. I think that competition for all people of all ages has rewords that provide one with a sense of self-worth and accomplishment.