The Omni Hotel in Dallas, where the 2021 AOK State is one of the classiest places to have an event. The hotel is centrally located in downtown where many prime attractions are. One of my favorites are the schoolbook repository where John F Kennedy was assassinated. The area around that part of Dallas is a happening place with many cool shops and restaurants.
The Ballrooms in the Downtown Omni are some of the classiest anywhere in Dallas Texas. This is where the December 10th, 2021, state championships and the runoffs were held. This event was one of my most memorable tournaments because no “in person” State Championship was held in 2020 except for the virtual one and no offence, but it’s just not the same as being there. In person events give you that feeling the excitement, exhilaration of in person competition. Being with your friends is part of the experience. I will say that those who attended were treated to a great display of martial arts skill and competition.
The Saturday runoffs were efficiently finalized by AOK people and judges who cared about making sure that all competitors were given the best opportunity to be a state champion and indeed just competing there was an honor. The fear of the Covid virus was no doubt a major factor in the lower turnout but it did not tarnish the spirit or the enthusiasm of those attending and competed. It has been disappointing for all tournaments to see many of the young adults not attending but the ones that were the were the best.
The Nighttime banquet reflected the earlier runoffs but again I can only say that the spirit of competition and brotherhood was strong. I felt that the quality of the venue made up for any shortcomings in numbers attending and the on-stage competitors were the best in Texas. Nahomy Zarat was the junior girl’s black belt Golden Greek winner and brother Robert Zarat was the junior black belt boys Greek champion. Twala Watters was the executive women’s Golden Greek champion and Daniel Perez won the men’s executive Greek award. There were no 2021 adult Greek winners.
A breaking championship breaking demo was done by the 2021 AOK State Champion Sean Kilroy. Master DE Chambers students performed an amazing demonstration. The adult forms grand championship was a showdown between William Sheldon, Charlston Green and Alan Wilcox with the staff prowess of Charlston Green winning the day. The junior black belt forms grand champion was Joshua Wilcox.
Rebecca Jewels and Jasmin Newberry battled it out for the women’s black belt sparring grand championship with Jasmin Newberry ending up winning the contest. The junior black belt forms grand champion was Joshua Wilcox. The men’s grand championship was a contest between Charlston Green and Matt Tyler in a contest that went back and forth in an evenly matched contest. Matt Tyler ended winning. Walter Bryant was the executive men’s black belt grand championship. The whole banquet was well run and a great ending to the 2021 AOK State Championships.