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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Alvarez BJJ Opens 2017 AGF Season with Winter Classic Title

BQuick JJ Claims Second Place in First AGF BJJ Tournament of the Year

By Brett Hart

AGF dallas winter classic grappling GreatmatsJan. 27, 2017 – The American Grappling Federation kicked off its 2017 tournament season on Jan. 22 with the Greatmats-sponsored Dallas Winter Classic. The AGF’s first-ever Sunday tournament brought a balanced field of competition, topped by an overall team championship by Alvarez BJJ with 265 points. BQuick JJ claimed second with 220 points, and Warrior Martial Arts edged out Soul Fighters Texas by two points to snag third place out of more than 80 teams.

youth grappling AGF 2017 Dallas competing GreatmatsWarrior Martial Arts claimed the Kids No Gi Division title while All American MMA duked it out with Soul Fighters Texas for the runner up spot. All American MMA squeaked past Soul Fighters Texas with just three points of separation.

Watkins BJJ Academy won the Kids Gi Division by an even smaller margin, slipping past Warrior Martial Arts by just two points while Alvarez BJJ secured the No. 3 spot.

AGF Dallas Classic 2017 competition GreatmatsBQuick JJ was the clear winner of the Adult No Gi Division while Top Game Jiu Jitsu Studio edged Alvarez BJJ by just one point for the No. 2 spot.

Alvarez BJJ separated itself from the rest of the field in the Adult Gi Division where it racked up nearly 40 percent of its points to claim the division title. BQuick JJ had a solid grip on second place. Top Game Jiu Jitsu Studio claimed third place.

 

Top 10 Overall Team Scores

grappling AGF Dallas Winter competition 2017 Greatmats

  • Alvarez BJJ 265
  • BQuick JJ 220
  • Warrior Martial Arts 171
  • Soul Fighters Texas 169
  • All American MMA 135
  • Top Game Jiu Jitsu Studio 116
  • Lovato BJJ 108
  • Watkins BJJ Academy 104
  • Genesis Jiu Jitsu 100
  • Travis Lutter BJJ 88

Greatmats AGF Dallas Winter Classic grappling action

To learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Tournaments and athletes visit Greatmats’ AGF Tournament Resource Page.

AKF Grappling and Throwing Tournament

Kyuki-Do Students Test Skills in Judo and Jiu Jitsu

AKF 2017 Grappling and Throwing Tournament Video
At the Metropolis Resort and Convention Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on March 4, there was standing room only at American Kyuki-Do Federation’s second-ever grappling and throwing tournament.AKF grappling and throwing champions Greatmats
At the Winter Grappling and Tournament, there were 74 regional competitors with 40 percent of them competing in grappling for their first time. Competitors came from as far away as Huntley, Illinois.youth grappling AKF kyuki-do Greatmats

The AKF Martial Arts Academy of Eau Claire produced 21 competitors, followed by New Richmond (Wisconsin) with 13 and Janesville (Wisconsin) with 10.
AKF grappling champions Greatmats
Divisions were split by age, size and experience levels. Competitors had the options of competing in judo, jiu jitsu, or hybrid version of the two.

About half of the competitors tested their skills in both judo and jiu jitsu.

AKF adult grappling action Greatmats

Tammy Turcotte, Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Amery’s chief instructor, said, ”My favorite part of the tournaments is seeing the camaraderie between students from different academies, parents getting to know each other, and the joy of competition.”

youth competing at AKF tournament 2017Learn more about American Kyuki-Do Federation Events.

2017 AKF Leadership Summit

AKF kyuki-do leaders summit Greatmats 2017

The American Kyuki-Do Federation held its annual Leadership Summit on February 24-26 in Elgin, Illinois.

”Our annual summit is an opportunity to share ideas, find out what the state of the art is for our industry, reconnect with other school owners and meet the next crop of instructors and owners,” said, Master Rick Steinmaier, AKF Events Coordinator.

Master Steinmaier was pleased to see the event attended by representatives from AKF’s five newest affiliates – four of which opened within the last year and one is projected to open this year.

The new affiliates include Arlington Heights (Illinois), Burleson (Texas), Elgin East (Illinois), Granbury (Texas) and Sleepy Hollow (Illinois).

American Kyuki-Do Federation Logo AKF Greatmats

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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!”

 

 

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