165 Compete at 2017 Connellsville Classic Karate Championships

Culver Karate Club Claims 24 Firsts at Home Tourney

On March 11, 2017, Sensei Perry Culver and the Culver Karate Club of Connellsville, Pennsylvania, hosted the 3rd Annual Connellsville Classic Karate Championships at the Connellsville Area High School.

The Tournament handed out more than 300 trophies to more than 165 competitors from four states and from as far away as Columbus, Ohio, Charleston, West Virginia, and Reading and Altoona, PA. There were also more 600 spectators and 50 Black Belt Instructors in attendance.

The Connellsville Classic is the 2017 kickoff event for the Warriors United Circuit, a 5 tournament competition circuit founded by Master Culver, Master Steve Morrissey of Altoona, PA, and Master Eric Swick of Grafton, WV, and in October 2014. The Warriors United Tournament Circuit includes, The Connellsville Classic, The Fall Brawl in Altoona, The Rumble on the River in Grafton, WV, The Monster Mash in Toronto, OH, and The Dragon Challenge in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Warriors United is sponsored by Greatmats and its tournament features Greatmats martial arts flooring.

Eighteen Culver Karate Club students competed and won 24 first-place finishes, 16 seconds and 13 third.

Warriors United 2017 Connellsville Karate Greatmats Culver Karate Club
Pictured are, front row, from left: Evan Siegel: 1st in Breaking, 2nd in Kata and 3rd in Kumite, Jake Weaver: 1st in Weapons, 2nd in Breaking and 1point fighting and 4th in Kata, Sammy Trincia: 3rd in Breaking, Kata, 1pt fighting and Kumite, Michael Borris: 1st in Weapons, 2nd in Kumite and 3rd in Breaking, Kata and 1 Point Fighting, Aaron Michaels: 3rd in 1 point Fighting, 4th in Kata, Nicky Farrell: 1st place in Kumite, 1 point and Kata and 2nd in Breaking and Weapons, Rohwen Firestone: 2nd in Kata and 3rd in Kumite, David Piasecki: 2nd place in 1 pt Fighting, Natalie Willard: 4th place in Kata & Fighting, Noah Zawislan: 1st in Kumite, 2nd in 1pt Fighting and 3rd in Breaking.

Back Row L to R: Sensei Lorrie Culver, Chase Weaver: 1st in Kata, 2nd in Weapons, Jaden Golden: 1st in Breaking, Kata and Fighting and 2nd in 1 point Fighting, Aaron Trincia: 1st in Breaking, 2nd in Kata and 1 point Fighting and 3rd in Kumite, Cody Vance: 1st in Breaking, Kata, Weapons, 1 point Fighting & Kumite, Keaton Detwiler: 1st in Breaking and Weapons, 2nd in Kata and 1 point Fighting and 4th in Kumite,

Not Pictured: Gabby Kelly: 1st in Breaking, Weapons, 1 point Fighting and Kumite and 2nd in Kata, Zach Zavatchan: 1st in Breaking, Seth Keslar: 1st in Kumite and 2nd in Fighting.

Learn more about the Warriors United Tournament Circuit

3rd Annual Connellsville Classic Karate Championships
Warriors United Tournament Circuit
Connellsville PA
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2016 American Kyuki-Do Federation Black Belt Extravaganza

AKF Black Belt Extravaganza 2016
kyuki-do extravaganza AKF 2016 GreatmatsOver 130 martial artists promoted to their first degree black belt or higher at the 2016 American Kyuki-Do Federation Black Belt Extravaganza. The extravaganza was held on November 5 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Watch this video as these black belt candidates show the skills they’ve learned on their path to obtaining a black belt – during the testing portion.

Of special note: AKF Founder GrandMaster Ok Hyung Kim oversaw the proceeding along with his brother Grand Master Yun Hyung Kim and son Master Jeff Kim while his grandson Nathan Kim tested for his 1st Dan.

Highlighting the festivities were the advancements of:

  • Master Rick Bjorkquist (to 6th Dan)
  • Master Rick Steinmaier (to 6th Dan)
  • Master Merrill Sinclair (to 5th Dan)

black belt showcase AKF Extravaganza Greatmats2016 black belt graduates represented 18 Academies from across the United States. Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Elgin, Illinois, was the academy with the most black belt graduates with 30, followed by AKF Martial Arts of Janesville, Wisconsin, with 18 graduates and Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Geneva, Illinois, with 12 graduates. In addition to Illinois and Wisconsin, graduates also hailed from the states of Georgia and Florida.

 

 

 

American Kyuki-Do Federation Black Belt Extravaganza AKF Greatmats

 

GrandMaster Ok Hyung Kim American Kyuki-Do Federation AKF Greatmats

competition at AKF Black Belt Extravaganza Greatmats

American Kyuki-Do Federation

 

 

AKF First-Of-Its-Kind Grappling and Throwing Tournament

Kyuki-Do National Grappling and Throwing Championship

The American Kyuki-Do Federation wrapped up its Greatmats-sponsored 2016 tournament season on October 1 with a first-of-its-kind Grappling and Throwing tournament held in Edgerton, WI. Previous AKF tournaments have had a heavy focus in tae kwon do; this tournament showcased the jiu jitsu and judo portions of the mixed martial art.

grappling and throwing at AKF Edgerton Wisconsin tournament GreatmatsThe tournament, which was held in the same building as the Kyuki-Do Martial Arts Academy of Edgerton, headed by black belt Aaron Stinski, found 23 of it nearly 90 competitors coming from a local crowd.

”It’s really nice when you’re the home team essentially,” Stinski said. ”There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be coming and competing at some type of level.”

The tournament also drew competitors from as far away as Lexington, Kentucky. AKF Lexington Martial Arts Academy head instructor and black belt Joe Moniot said his students were fired up after attending the Grappling and Throwing Tournament.

grappling action at AKF Grappling and throwing tournament Greatmats”I competed as well, for the first time in years,” Moniot said. ”Twelve of us competed and brought home 18 medals.”

”This tournament in particular has them really excited about competing again,” Moniot added. ”So much so, we have already started the participant list for the Spring 2017 Tournament of Champions. By listening to them recruiting their classmates, it seems as though we are likely to set a new record in number of participants from Lexington for this next tournament.”

Unlike previous AKF tournaments where participants can compete in numerous divisions such as open hand and weapons forms, sparring and board breaking where size has little to do with the competition, there was no such thing as a grand championship at the latest tournament.

Master Rick Steinmaier of the Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Elgin Academy said in this tournament, ”Size really does make a difference.”

AKF kyuki-do youth winners 2016 GreatmatsFor that reason, both the judo (throwing) and jiu jitsu (grappling) portions of the tournament were broken down into weight class divisions. For those less comfortable with throws or submissions, there was also a novice division which followed the hybrid style of the traditional AKF tournaments.

Although judo and jiu jitsu are tertiary aspects of the Kyuki-Do curriculum, the federation does have a contingent of high level martial artists who hold rank or have experience in each of those disciplines. And with both arts growing in popularity, the federation decided to closely follow the international set of rules for both judo and jiu jitsu for the more advanced students competing in the inaugural National Grappling and Throwing Championship tournament.

”There was a division for anybody who wanted to compete and an age level for anyone who wanted to compete as well,” Stinski said. ”It was really nice to see all of those kids very proud of their accomplishments, regardless of where they placed – wearing the medals around and holding medals up for pictures. And a ton of pride in those eyes and those faces, and smiles that went from ear to ear. That was probably one of the more rewarding things.”

youth grappling at AKF grappling and throwing tournament Greatmats”It is about camaraderie,” Moniot added. ”My favorite part is being with so many people with similar interests and helping them grow even as I grow. The camaraderie is what keeps it all going strong for us.”

”We held special prep classes for the month leading up to the tournament,” Moniot added. ”A young man named Thomas was the only one who decided to compete in throwing and had not practiced this prior to the tournament. His success or failure was not what was amazing. Rather his fortitude in competing in many matches and never showing frustration. He just kept pushing forward with a smile on his face. Very impressive!”

Moniot, a martial arts veteran of more than 20 years who has competed both in and out of the AKF in many formats, is so impressed by the values of the AKF that he said despite the distance to AKF tournaments, ”We will compete only with the AKF until or unless a competition arises which I feel is safe and represents the same values as the AKF.”

youth competing at AKF kyuki-do tournament GreatmatsThe camaraderie and support system of the AKF spreads beyond the confines of its academy walls as well.

”At 1 a.m. Sunday morning, we pulled into the parking lot of our school to find the windows and trees were decorated by students who had not been able to attend,” Moniot said. ”Several of them, and even a couple people from a neighbor business, were here waiting to cheer us as we arrived. THAT’S COOL!”

 

 

Related Product: Grappling MMA Mats 1-5/8 Inch

AKF Summer Tournament of Champions

New Richmond Martial Arts Academy Well Represented

Aug. 17, 2016 – As approximately 130 martial artists flocked to the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center in Eau Claire, WI, on Saturday, August 13, the American Kyuki-Do Federation, founded in 1979 by Grand Master Ok Hyung Kim, was set to begin its 2016 Summer Tournament of Champions. The family-friendly mixed martial arts tournament brought in competitors and judges from 14 academies across the U.S. to compete in forms, weapons, sparring, grappling, board breaking and even kihapping for the youngest martial arts enthusiasts.

adults competitng AKF kyuki-do action Greatsmats 2016New Richmond shines
The AKF Martial Arts Academy of New Richmond, Wisconsin, boasted the largest number of competitors to enter the Greatmats-sponsored tournament at 31, and produced the 17 and under Junior Grand Champion – Stephen Post-Priller. It also produced the tournament’s oldest competitor, Keith Langfeldt, age 72.

Academy Owner and Head Instructor Zachary Hansen said, ”I’m proud of my school and the students that made the commitment to go over there. It says a lot about them.”

It all began with a friendly competition between Hansen and AKF Martial Arts Academy of Eau Claire (Wisconsin) Owner and Head Instructor Chester Gustavson to see which academy could get the most members to compete in the tournament.

Hansen, who competed in his first AKF tournament in 2011, has been so impressed by the quality of people that surrounded him and his family at the martial arts tournaments that he wanted to share that experience with his students. He said once you attend an AKF tournament ”You know you are in the right place, in a safe place. It’s an awesome family event.”

So he encouraged his students to attend, do their forms, make some new friends and get a bigger picture of what the American Kyuki-Do Federation is.

”It’s a lot bigger than your 10-12 students in class or your 50-100 students in your school,” Hansen said. ”You get a way better picture of how awesome our Kyuki-Do family really is.”

As the excitement grew, so did the commitment to preparing for the tournament. By the time the Summer Tournament of Champions rolled around, Hansen had hosted a total six tournament prep seminars in his New Richmond and River Falls (Wisconsin) academies, which open to students of all AKF academies.

”I wanted my students to have a successful tournament and feel prepared and confident,” Hansen said.

junior champion at AKF Summer Tournament GreatmatsPost-Priller Wins Long-Awaited Junior Grand Championship
One of Hansen’s students to find that success was 14-year-old Post-Priller, who entered with several near misses in his quest for a junior grand championship in five years of competing as a black belt.

”He finished second numerous times where he’s missed out by a point or a half a point,” Hansen said. ”That’s how close he’s come, and he couldn’t have come any closer that last time.”

Post-Priller actually tied for junior grand championship on Saturday and had to break the tie with a form-off.

”He brought it,” Hansen said. ”It was his time. He’s worked hard every time for it. He preps and practices harder than anybody else leading up the the tournament – that last month or so – both in the academy and at home.”

Even with all of his success in Kyuki-Do, Post-Priller remains grounded.

”He’s a very humble student – everything that we expect and train to be as a black belt,” Hansen said. ”I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

youth at AKF Summer Tournament GreatmatsNever Too Old
Also hailing from the New Richmond academy was tournament newcomer 72-year-old Keith Langfeldt. Although he started training in 2011, Langfeldt had not been able to compete in any prior tournaments due to ongoing shoulder injuries.

”He could have easily walked away and given up and said, ‘I’m just not going to be able to do this,”’ Hansen said. ”But he hung in there.”

Langfeldt is viewed by many as the grandpa of the academy and uses his patriarch position to help others. As a member of the certified instructor team, Langfeldt works with a blind student twice a week and is a special olympics coach.

Although still not feeling 100 percent on Saturday, Langfeldt competed in forms and broke through the tournament barricade.

”That’s a great example of one of our tenants,” Hansen said. ”The perseverance of just continuing on through all of the health adversities that he’s had and being able to make adjustments to his techniques.”

Or Too Young
3 year old winner Kihap at AKF Summer Tournament 2016 GreatmatsAt the other end of the age spectrum was 3-year-old Kortney Hart, representing Kyuki-Do Martial Arts Academy of Amery (Wisconsin). Hart was the Kihap Contest Champion and also competed in forms.

Hart’s instructor, 3rd dan Tammy Turcotte said, ”I think Kortney is the youngest (competitor) I have ever sent (to a tournament). It takes guts to get out in front of a panel of Black Belts no matter what your age is. When you are only 3, everyone is much bigger than you are. It can be scary.

”Part of what we encourage in Kyuki-Do is getting out of your comfort zone. Some people are comfortable in front of judges, others aren’t.

”We weren’t sure how Kortney would do. You never know when children are going to pull out their shy card – especially when they are not typically shy). Kortney did her form and the kihap contest with energy and enthusiasm! The excitement on her face when she got her trophy was priceless!”

”That’s one of the beautiful things about Kyuki-Do,” Hansen said, ”It’s not always about the physical aspect. It’s about the mental aspect of training as well that allows all students to be successful from 3 to 72.”

Leading by Example
Gustavson, a 4th dan,was the highest ranking competitor at the tournament. Gustafson, who’s been training in the art since 1991, said everyone’s reason for competing at the tournament is different, whether its for fun, trophies, personal challenge, etc. He competes to set a good example for his students.

”You are graded, judged every day,” Gustavson said, whether at school or work. ”But there’s nothing like face-to-face competition.”

In sparring or grappling, for example, you win or lose. It’s that simple. And face-to-face competition sheds a true light on how fierce of a competitor you are, Gustavson said. You find out just how deep you want to go.

”Some students participate in the tournament to overcome their fears of performing in front of a group,” Gustavson said. ”It’s a way to check their confidence level. For some individuals like this, just showing up is a win for them.”

Turcotte added, ”When students don’t do as well as they think they should – getting a 3rd or 4th or participant ribbon instead of a 1st or 2nd place trophy, I like to ask them how many of their classmates did not participate. They are already further ahead than those who were not at the competition. I also ask, ‘Did you do your best and did you have fun? ‘ That, to me, is the most important thing.”

Other highlights
adult black belt champion at AKF Summer Tournament Eau Claire GreatmatsTopping the field of adult black belts was Grand Champion Reggie Madrigal of Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Elgin, Ill.

Another special highlight to the day’s festivities was Jacob Hansen, of New Richmond, winning a Free VIP All Access Pass to this year’s AKF Black Belt Extravaganza, which will be held at The Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, Wisc., Nov. 4-6.

The AKF Summer Tournament of Champions has taken place in Eau Claire for at least 8 years. Included at this year’s event were 11 participants from Lexington, Kentucky, and 1 from Oconee, Georgia.

The 2016 American Kyuki-Do Federation Summer Tournament of Champions was sponsored by Greatmats.

Learn more about the 2016 American Kyuki-Do Federation Tournament Season.

 

PMAA Wraps Up Season with Warriors United Monster Mash Victory

Final Warriors United Tournament Draws Competitors from Five States

Powers Martial Arts Monster Mash 2016
Warriors United Greatmats sponsored logoThe Warriors United Tournament Circuit wrapped up its 2016 season on October 22 with the Powers Martial Arts Monster Mash Tournament held in Toronto, Ohio.

Fresh from a Fall Brawl 5 tournament victory Team PMAA (Pennsylvania Martial Arts Alliance) defended its crown by claiming 1st place in the season finale. Dragon’s Den Mixed Martial Arts placed 2nd followed by Culver Karate Club in 3rd place.

The tournament drew competitors from five states.

Warriors United Fall Brawl 5

Team PMAA Claims 1st Place

Warriors United Fall Brawl 5
On October 1st, over 225 competitors from 31 martial arts schools from 7 different states competed at the Warriors United Tournament Circuit Fall Brawl 5. The tournament was held in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Warriors United Greatmats sponsored logo Fall Brawl

Team PMAA (Pennsylvania Martial Arts Alliance) of Altoona, Pennsylvania, claimed first place with seven Grand Champions and more than 150 awards.

Culver Karate Club of Connellsville, Pennsylvania claimed 6 grand champion awards, followed by Dragon’s Den Mixed Martial Arts of Grafton, West Virginia in third place.

Greatmats Gives Back to its Earliest Martial Arts Mats Customers

Greatmats Superfan Contest: Martial Arts Edition

Greatmats wants to honor its earliest martial arts mats customers through its Greatmats Superfan Contest.

Aug. 17, 2016 — Wisconsin-based specialty flooring company Greatmats is looking to honor its earliest martial arts mats customers. Founded in 1999, Greatmats has become one of the most respected supplier of martial arts mats in the United States. Starting with karate mats, Greatmats selection of martial arts mats has grown to including mats specifically designed for taekwondo, judo, jiu jitsu, grappling and mixed martial arts.

As a thank you to its earliest customers, Greatmats is offering an opportunity for anyone who purchased its martial arts mats at least 10 years ago to receive up to $100 in cash and have their story and/or business featured on greatmats.com and its social media site.

For more details on the contest and prizes, visit http://www.greatmats.com/martial-arts-mats/greamats-superfan-contest-martial-arts-edition.php.

Greatmats 1" karate mats

Greatmats entered the martial arts business with a line of karate mats.