The great thing about being a champion is the feeling of confidence and a unique clarity of thought. The thing is, you know what you want and how to get there. Just ask any great champion and they will all say the same thing and it boils down to “in life you are what you say you are” if you say you not a winner you never will be one. But if you say you are a champion, at least in your mind, you will become one if you work hard for it. This goes for everything in in your life.
Linda Denley has produced the Space City Open Nationals for the last several decades. She also has the honor of being the greatest women’s fighter in the 1970’s and thru the 1980’s. Google her name and you will be amazed at the championships she has won and movies she has been in. She has made the Space City Open her masterpiece of competitions. I have competed at and reported on the Space City Nationals for the last 4 decades and her tournament has always been one of the best of the best tournaments. This year’s April 9th, 2022, event was a happening in the martial arts with all the disciplines in the martial arts being represented in an open format.
This tournament started on time as usual and ran thru with many of the Texas AOK’s best champions attending elevating this event to the highest skill levels. The juniors and adult divisions were collaged into a symphony of order by the watchful eye of D.E. Chambers. President of the Texas AOK and the rest of the Texas AOK’s greatest judges and many of its promoters.
The black belt divisions were bigger than they were than last year as the Covid issue played a disappointing part in most martial arts tournaments in 2021 and made them almost nonexistent in 2020. But this 2022 event was attended by at least 350 competitors and as many parents. We are lucky in Texas to have so many great martial arts tournaments each year.
The grand championships were attended by the best in the Texas AOK. The Forms grand championship was won by your favorite photojournalist and a black belt adult champion as Johnnie Murphy pulled ahead of the competition and narrowly edged out Carol Parenti’s elegant and beautiful musical katana routine with a powerful and fast katana kata to take home the Grand championship and the prize money. The women’s sparring grand champion was Janet Abou-Elias with her fighting skills and prowess as a great women’s fighter.
In the men’s sparring grand championship David Chambers II ended up going against Guillermo Gonzalez who is a blast from the past as a former and current member of a recently brought out of mothballs Team Focus. The fight was a contest between the agility and kicking skill of David Chambers II and the powerful hitting, punching blitzes and old school inside hook kicks of Guillermo Gonzalez. As the fight continued Guillermo was able to circumvent the kicking skills of David. An all out attempt by David was fruitless as Guillermo was able to eliminate the kicking attacks of David and overcome David and as the clock ran out Guillermo Gonzalez was declared the winner and took home the grand championship money.