Makoto Kai hosted our 27th annual spring tournament in mid-May. This year, like most, it was a kata contest. Teams from six schools, including Makoto Kai, entered the competition.

We hold the juniors portion of the tournament in the morning. During the check-in period, the kids arrived. They brought along moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and a friend or two. If you’ve never visited Makoto Kai, I can tell you we have a comfortable, but small mat area.

We packed everyone in and ran two divisions at the same time. Spirits were high and the energy in the room was pure kid energy. Each team got their time to shine. Waiting teams displayed impressive patience. Tabulators added up the scores in the back room. As soon as all of the teams had completed their demonstration we were just about finished adding up the scores and double-checking the placements.

This year the prizes were small tins of jelly beans. As the awards were given out the shaking tins sounded like a chorus of maracas in play. By the end of handing out the awards, there was much less sound as many of the tins had already been emptied and eaten.

A total of 18 juniors teams bowed in, demonstrated their techniques, and received their awards – all in two hours time. After that, it was if a mystic vacuum surrounded the dojo. Within minutes, all of the juniors, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and friends dispersed into the surrounding downtown for lunch and other activities.

During the next hour, we handed out sandwiches to the judges and helpers. And we reset it all for the adult competition. During the afternoon competition there were far fewer spectators and the mood was more stoic.

We had entries in each of the adult divisions. The white belts were earnest, the blue belts were plentiful, the green belts stretched their limits, the brown belts bolstered our hopes for the future, and the black belts got to show off.

Many thanks to all involved with our tournament. A special thank you to my sensei, Professor Jane Carr, for supporting our tournament year after year. Thank you to the sensei who prepared teams from their schools, and for helping with judging. Thank you to all of the competitors who came out to demonstrate their progress in training and their love of Danzan Ryu Jujitsu. And thank you to Makoto Kai for pitching in to help everything run smoothly. See you again next Spring!

Photos – Above: Makoto Kai crew: L to R: Michael Thompson, Katie Murphy Stevens, Ken Paquette, Eddie Cano, Jon-Paul Valcarenghi, Joe Bendorf. Below: Kyu high scoring team: L to R: Jack Terrell, Sensei Delina Fuchs, Sarah Jiménez. 

Division Level Team Dojo Place
Age 7 – 9 Beg Lex Polupan / Alex Bianchini Wasenshi Kan 1
Age 7 – 9 Beg Lucas Shobe / Larrah Bacani Makoto Kai 2
Age 7 – 9 Int Celeste Plascencia / Cora Lambie Makoto Kai 1
Age 7 – 9 Int Gabriel Seyford / singleton Nemuri Kuma 2
Age 7 – 9 Int Lubna Jasim / Aaron Crowder Nemuri Kuma 3
Age 7 – 9 Adv Brenton Bailey / Obadiah Brock Nemuri Kuma 1
Age 10 – 12 Beg Lillian Shobe / Alexi Backman Makoto Kai 1
Age 10 – 12 Beg Eleanor Watkins / Reynaldo León Makoto Kai 2
Age 10 – 12 Int Eleanor Lewis / singleton Makoto Kai 1
Age 10 – 12 Int Madi Watkins / Ronan Lambie Makoto Kai 2
Age 10 – 12 Int Daelin Sam / singleton Nemuri Kuma 3
Age 13 – 15 Int Rayah Ellis / Kyla Brock Nemuri Kuma 1
Age 13 – 15 Int Landen Reyes / Alaric Caruthers Wasenshi Kan 2
Age 13 – 15 Adv Christian Brown / Jaxon Doell Nemuri Kuma 1
Adult White Nate Seeley / Vince Seeley Makoto Kai 1
Adult Blue Samantha Bianchini / singleton Wasenshi Kan 1
Adult Blue Abbey Apple / Sara Robles Redding Jujitsu Academy 2
Adult Blue Ken Paquette / Mayra Plascencia Makoto Kai 3
Adult Green Andy Bianchini / Kraig Sowa Wasenshi Kan 1
Adult Brown Jack Terrell / Sarah Jiménez Chico Kodenkan 1
Adult Brown Katie Hardaker / Scott Blankenship Davis Ju-do Kai 2
Black Belt Nerissa Freeman / Rodrigo Garcia Wasenshi Kan 1
Black Belt Joe Bendorf / Michael Thompson Makoto Kai 2
Black Belt Larry Carter / Jason Walters Nemuri Kuma 3

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