The 2010 PNW AAU Karate District Championships were hosted by USA Karate, on March 27, at the old Edmonds/Woodway High School. USA Karate athletes earned 24 Gold, 26 Silver, and 17 Bronzed medals. USA Karate athletes Chris Hoy, Miguel Gomez, Annabelle Lisanti, and Leigh Gardner earned Outstanding Athlete Awards, the last three earning their first such awards. (Leigh’s inner glow actually cracked one of Linda Knapp’s camera lenses.) In addition, Emily Hie, Lauren Crane, Vera Max, and Ryan Hoy earned multiple gold medals. Ryan, still a junior athlete, entered his first 19 – 34 event and earned a bronze in kata. In an attempt to goad Jon Hie to move back to the mainland, Pete Maskiell took the gold in 35 & UP advanced kumite. Other USA Karate gold winners include Hugh Kline, Alyssa Korth, Maskiell the Younger (Gus), Andres Ruiz, Kemper Lee, Abby Knapp, and Ricardo Ruiz.
From my narrow perspective of Ring 2, the most interesting event was the 19 – 34 Male Advanced Kumite. Sensei Chris Hoy was back in training for just a few weeks. Chris had earned gold in weapons and in kata and was now facing longtime rival, Dan Nicholson, in the kumite finals. Dan, basketball-player tall, uses his long legs and amazing balance to score with side and roundhouse kicks to the head. Chris, not basketball-player tall, typically sprints backwards around the ring, picking up a couple of jogais (out-of-ring-warnings) along the way, until he counters with aggressive takedowns and lighting kicks. Except Chris was in no shape to sprint backwards or in any other direction. For two minutes, he mostly stood toe-to-toe with Dan, avoiding all but one of his long kicks, the one scoring a full point. Chris countered with a takedown and follow-up punch and with a solid roundhouse kick, both half-point scores, making it 1 – 1 at the two-minute mark. Unfortunately for Chris, this is the lone division where the kumite goes for three minutes, Dan scored with another kick and Chris was beat in both senses of the word. Regardless of his conditioning, Chris had a great tournament, Welcome back, Chris.
As it was spring break, lots of athletes and volunteers were absent. Help was short for refereeing, scoring, organizing, computer work, and first aid. As always, Coach Alan and Shihan Joni kept things moving smoothly — we finished way early at a little after 3pm. Donna worked both the computer and as a medic. Mike Knapp did both organizing volunteers and staging of the athletes. Emily worked as a judge, scorer, staging coordinator, squeezed in a dash home to feed her pets, and still managed to win two gold medals. Shihan Tony (and probably true for other refs) never took a break to eat. After a long absence from tournaments, Brad Swint showed to help with the judging, and (his mother) Suzi Swint returned to help with the scoring.
Linda Knapp has posted photos of the tournament. To view her photos, click the link www.karateovercoffee.com, click Our Spring Tourn,, click Play Slideshow. If the slideshow doesn’t start, buy a new computer with a new browser, or view the photos by scrolling down.
If anyone wants to contribute a report of events from other rings, or correct my impressions, please do so in the comments.