Tournaments News Update

2002 SpindleTop Open
2002 Texas Showdown

 

SPINDLETOP OPEN KARATE CHAMPIONSHIPS                                   
BY JOHNNIE MURPHY

      Spindletop was one of this nations first and greatest oil producing areas. At one point in the past it produced more oil than any other place in the country. It was a boom town, a place where the word boom was created. Some of the toughest and roughest people in the country showed up to help the old time wild cat oil men pull black gold out of the ground. Many of the wells still produce oil, however other places have come along to dwarf Spindletop. Beaumont, an oil city grew up by the old field and many of the toughest oil men stayed to keep the thriving production  industry at its peak.

     The tournament that bears the name spindletop has been produced for many years by one of Texas greatest martial artist. Fred A Simon is a man of few words, who sports cowboy hat, boots, long duster coat and is himself a legend in Texas Sport karate. He was a past champion who has locked horns with some of the toughest hombreís ever to wear a black belt. Feared in his time, but unknown to many outside of Texas. Fred Simon has produced some of  the best fighters in Texas today and continues to pump out powerhouse fighters. Fred is also one of the nicest people you could ever meet. His tournament took place on February 16, 2002 at West Brook Senior High school.

      A  large crowed from all over Texas showed up in support. Many of Texas original sport karate champions were in attendance. Linda Denley ran this Texas A-OK,TKO and SKIL rated event with  the help of Bob Beasly  and Wayne Nugyen current presidents of the A-OK and the TKO. Charles E Shedd was awarded the Walt Mason Award for his dedication to the Texas A-OK in the last couple of years. This award was started to Honor the late Walt Mason who was a Texas pioneer in the martial arts and the founder of TAKKA a southwest based kickboxing association and several other Texas martial arts institutions.   

      As is the practice at many tournaments, black belt divisions were first. With current well known national champions in attendance and vying for a shot at this highly coveted win. High flying Bear Loebe of Houston took out the competition in black belt menís specialty and forms, Chandra Miller won black belt weapons and womenís forms. Rebecca McSpadden took out Chandra Miller to top out the championship in womenís sparring. David Vines of Dallas stormed through the black belt menís executive forms division pulling  a first place. Chanelle Bort won the black belt womenís executive forms and sparring division. In the menís black belt sparring divisions D.E Chambers, one of those Fred Simon power house fighters won the black belt  menís heavy weight sparring division. Quincy Boseman was first in the black belt middle weight sparring and  Jacobie Gilder won menís light weight division. Carl Whitaker from the Dallas area had the largest adult black belt division win in the  menís executive sparring.

    Underbelt and junior black belt divisions highlighted the whole tournament with the most competitors of the event. D.E Chambers Jr won an impressive 4 and under sparring division. With top Jr black belt forms and fighters Jamal Hasson and Onterio Tubbs going head to head in the 14 to 15  black belt/advanced forms and sparring. Tubbs was first in sparring and Hasson first in forms. Lance Wiggan, pulled out a win in a large  16 - 17 year old boys black belt/advanced sparring. Other underbelt champions were Ceasor Johnson, Teresa Randolph, Jabar  hasson,Demetre Chambers, Waylon Jones, Dose Normon, Raymond Palmer, Andrew Games, James Slade,  Mary Ellen, Christine Gonzalez, Natasha Simon, Suzanne Buchawa, Otis Butler, Merle Goff, Patrick Burford, Scott Mazzles, Matt Savaos, Raymond Oggitt, Walter Salazar, Quinton, Eaglin,  Edward Soto, Cassie Henoon, Jatona Thompson, Jordon Mau, Allison Rhoads, Khalfani Thomas, Adrian Soriano, Michael William , Dennis,William,  Wesley Blackmon, Mary elln Villareal, Loraine Buckner, Terese Randalph, Tim Funchess, Joe Lare, Patrick Burford, Bobby Collins,  Casey OíBrien, Christi Oígrady, Sydnye Mccraw, Charlie Davidson, Khalfani Thomas, Charles Hart, Bianca Ledet, Angelica Goff, Corey Wetzel, DeMarcus Felton, B.J Kinsel, Morgan Hogan, Aston Walter, Jeremy Rogers, Caleb Baumgartner, Justin Anderson, Harrison Davis, DeíArius Owens, Austin Walter, Jeremey Rogers and Bryce Burton.

 

2002 Texas Showdown
By Johnnie Murphy 

    Some people say thereís nothing to do in Houston. Yes, if you donít have a car or some idea where your going or whatís here, you will be in for a boring experience. But you must remember, it takes one hour at sixty miles per hour to drive across Houston. And donít forget Houston is surrounded by some of the most beautiful country in Texas. You usually hear these comments by people who know nothing about the city and complain about everything. Take it from someone who has lived there for twenty four years, it is an exciting town full of great places and top Karate competition. Wayne Nguyen is one of those great people who make Houston the world class places it is. This Years March 30th Texas Showdown, also promoted by Wayne Nguyen, turned out to be one of his best.

     In Houston there exists a five acre mall totally dedicated to the pursuit of fun its called ďThe Fun PlexĒ. The tournament was held in the roller skating ring that is part of this unusual amusement center. An air-conditioned city of entertainment under one roof and a perfect location for an exciting event like The Texas Showdown. The floors were covered by padded puzzle mats that provided an added measure of safety. This years tournament was TKO, NBL, SKIL and AKBBA rated making for a diverse range of competitors from the region.       

     A long list of Texas greatest sport karate champions were on hand competing and officiating. Several of the top NBL teams were in the heat of the competition making an already tough competition event tougher.

Team Gallio, Team Renegade, Team TKO, Team South Side and Team Focus were all vying for the top spots in many of the black belt divisions. As the first Bayou Conference NBL event of 2002 many wanted to solidify there seeding at the world games in Panama City this coming November. With much at stake, many found themselves up against some of the current and past world champions in Texas.  As a result, the level of competition in many of the junior divisions resembled the last world games in Hollywood California.

    As expected in the junior black belt divisions current world champions such as Chris Gallio, Joseph Pruiett, Johnny Shaw and Tony Lopez Jr were walking away with impressive wins and valuable points for their seeding at the world games. In the junior black belt hard creative weapons divisions a large group made the going tough. Time ran over due to the number of competitors, several ties that had to be ran off and some ended in a point off. The junior point sparring finalized with some memorable fights. As expected with the level of competition, many exciting moments led to new champions and happy kids going home winners. The junior continuous sparring completed during the night time finals.

   The adult divisions were equally diverse with a similar range of current and past champions competing. World champions David Johnson, Willie Galvan, Gary Lee, Sarah Crawford and Johnnie Murphy were there creating tough competition. Along with other Texas greatest current champions like Bear Loebe, Gina Gregory, Jared Lamb and Dawn Kabala who also elevated the level of black belt adult forms competition way above average. In the sparring competition Texas greatest current sport Karate champions were in attendance. Normon Roberts, D.E Chambers, Joseph Hernandez, Jason Holmes, Derrick Wilson , Scott McBrayer and champions from Louisiana, Mexico and Oklahoma made the point and continuous sparring divisions heated and tough.

    The night time finals were held in the main food court area. As a result many spectators with no martial arts experience found themselves overwhelmed by the fierce competition in the finals for the grand championships and junior continuous sparring finals. D.E chambers ended up champion in the mens Black belt point sparring and Dawn Kabala took the womenís point sparring grand. Willie Galvan won the adult contemporary and Traditional  forms grand with Joseph Pruiett taking home the win in the junior contemporary grand. Johnny Shaw was champion of the junior traditional  forms Grand championship.

Team focus pulled out the stops and overcame the competition to win team sparring. Team sparring finalized the event with an impressive night time finals and an end of another Texas Showdown.