On of this year’s TKO premier events turned out to be a surprisingly impressive event. The Centex Open was the brainchild of the world champion Chance Turner and I can say the venue was perfect for this April 16th, 2022, multi-level Austin martial arts event. The LBJ High School was a great place for the event that was attended by an estimated 350 competitors and twice as many spectators.
This tournament had the persona of the old NBL national as many of its world champions were there competing and attending. Raymond Daniels one of the greatest point and full contact fighters of our age and his legendary wife, Colby Northcutt Daniels made an appearance and remarked that they were now staying in Austin Texas.
One of my favorite things about the TKO is the level of competition and attendance by so many 18-to-35-year old’s which is surprising in todays martial arts leagues. I think the current economic and politically enhanced environment on these young people presents unparalleled financial and social challenges. The young adult crowed there was refreshing and welcome also they were amazing,
As the tournament started a feeling of excitement electrified the venue with its energy. The junior divisions were well attended with many new faces and new champions being crowned. As usual the junior divisions dominated the competition floor and several large area schools went all out for the right to be in the dozen junior grands and to win a valued Centex championship medallion.
The adult divisions were dominated current TKO and national champions. TKO judges were present to keep things on track. The TKO has seeding for its players that is unique and, in some ways, like NASAKA and the past NBL. This seeding and the hall of fame, or best years competitor are a coveted award.
Championships like this follow a person thru there lives and having been competing for 50 years the pursuit of these achievements has guided me thru a lifestyle of fitness, great mental stability, no depression, happiness and the ability to still be a champion. I believe it is up to all of us who have pioneered the arts to lead by example and be beacon to those who desperately need our guidance on their pursuit of a lifestyle of fitness. The arts and competition give them purpose beyond an ordain existence that leads so many to health and depression issues.
The tournament finalized with some of the greatest current adult champions anywhere vying for the grand champions money. Ralph Urias won the Senior men’s sparring grand and championship. Sammy Leal, Chad Cannon and several other of the days adult black belt contemporary champions battled it out for the 300-dollar grand championship money with Sammy Leal and his world class lightning bo and blind catches winning the money in a hard-earned Grand championship win. The amazing Rommel Gargoles was the traditional forms grand champion. Kimberly Morales took home the women’s black belt sparring grand championship and lastly the men’s adult black belt sparring grands was a war between world champion Chad Cannon and world champion Charley Davidson. The fight was electrifying and one of the best nail biters I seen in a while. The fight went back and forth and ended up in a tie. In the overtime clash it was ruled Chad Cannon was to be the Men’s 2022 Centex Sparring Grand Champion.