One of the TKO Karate league’s premier events is the Samurai Showdown. It is held in Beaumont, Texas and for the last two years has been attended by top competitors from around Texas. This year’s June 11th, 2022, Samurai Showdown was held at the beautiful Legacy Christian Academy. It has been the venue for this high-level karate tournament for the last two years.
Mike Berryhill and his school of skilled martial artists were the sponsors of this amazing event. Many of the TKO’s best competitors were in attendance to raise the level of competition.
The day was an amazing exposition of what years of training can produce as both adults and children’s divisions finalized with many champions going home the beautiful samurai swords for all 1st place competitors. This must be the best 1st place awards I’ve seen since the late Jessie Benavides gave Swords out at his Galveston Battle of Texas tournament.
The whole day finalized with the customary Grand championships where even more beautifully ornate swords and cash was awarded to the grand champions. After the under black belt adult and children’s grands finalized the Black Belt Grands were ran. The adult black belt forms grand champion was won by the amazing Jaden Nguyen. His dad World champion Wayne Nguyen was elated at his sons display of nun chuck prowess for the championship. Chelsea Winkelmann won the women’s sparring grands.
In an awesome display of heart Jaden Nguyen entered the men’s sparring grands and in the final fight he went up against “The Road Warrior” and legendary champion, Willie Hicks. The fight went fast with Jaden attacking the older Willie with a blitz of combinations and the speed of youth. Willie was not going to have any of that and countered with experienced ring savvy defense and counter attacks. This was an amazing display of speed and sparring skill. Both men went down with kicking injuries and in the end, Jaden damaged his ankle with a round house kick against the knee of Willie and was unable to recover his momentum. In pain, he was hobbled by the lack of his previous mobility. The clock ran out and Willie Hickes was declared the 2022 men’s sparring grand champion and took home the cash and a beautifully ornate grand champion samurai Sword.