Mariah Moore, Onaway High School Onaway Michigan Filipino Weapons Demo


To learn more about me, what I do, and what I live for, please read my older posts. There is a lot of insight into my life and my work, not just as a martial artist, but as a human being.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Advance Newspapers Article

Local martial artist wins world championship in Philippines

by Advance Newspapers
Wednesday August 27, 2008, 3:15 PM

Mariah Moore of Alto recently captured a world championship in Eskrima, which was a demonstration sport in the Beijing Olympics.

ALTO -- While athletes from around the world are competing in the Olympic Games, Mariah Moore of Alto is also focused on the Gold. However, though her sport is a demonstration sport at the 2008 Olympic games, Eskrima is not yet recognized as an official sport of the Olympic Games.

From a very early age, Mariah Moore knew what her destiny was. She wanted to do martial arts. She began asking to do karate at the age of 6. At just 8 years old, she was enrolled in Ro-Ken Karate, and by the tender age of 10, she had traveled to China to train with the coaches of Jet Li and Jackie Chan. By 12, she was a two-time world champion.

Now, at just 14 years old, Mariah has made her hometown proud as the defending world champion and official member of the prestigious U.S. National Stickfighting Team competing at the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation 10th World Championships in Cebu, Philippines. For now, internationally, this is the highest level of competition there is for the sport of Eskrima.

Eskrima is the pride of the Filipino culture. It is to the Filipinos what baseball is to Americans.
It's what hockey is to Canada. And Cebu is the central hub for one of the most globally-feared systems of stickfighting in the world today: Doce Pares, the legendary "Twelve Pairs" system of Filipino stick, knife and empty hand combat. The system is based on point-scoring, but knockouts and surrenders are just as common at the master levels.

In July, 25 countries from all over the world met to test their mettle against the best fighters the world has to offer. With more than 600 competitors from around the world, the United States brought the largest delegation with 110 athletes.

Moore has earned a very befitting nickname. She is the "Eskrimadora" from America. When her name was called to perform, there was a rush of people to the stage. Could the light-haired, fair-skinned girl with the unassuming smile and the eyes of a doe really house the heart of dragon?

"The pretty girl stereotype comes to screeching halt when they see me fight, and actually I think it's an advantage because they never see it coming," Mariah said.

In her first area of competition, Traditional Multiple Weapons, Moore performed "Sayow"(to Dance) with her Talibong (Double Swords on ropes). She made her presence known as the swords flew and returned to her hands effortlessly as if an extension of her being. The judges' decision was unanimous, with Moore taking the gold for team USA and her third world championship title.

Later that evening, Moore competed in the Full-Contact Single Stick Fighting event. Still suffering a touch of jet lag and sleep loss through most of the first day of competition, her timing was off. She hammered through her first rounds in single-stick fighting, pushing through the eliminations until it was down to Moore and her USA teammate from Colorado, Erin Michaelis. In a 2-1 split, teammate Michaelis edged Mariah out for the gold medal.

With a day off in between the single- and double-stick events, Moore and her coaches used their time to study and evaluate the competition. The strategy worked and the payoff was sweet, but victory would not come easy. In the final round of eliminations, three contenders remained; Two from America and one from Australia. In a draw of cards, the Australian won the "by" round, leaving the two Americans to face each other once again. This was the same pair that had battled for single-stick silver and gold.

"(Erin) made it a point to tell me that she had studied my fights from regionals and nationals, and that she had trained all year just to beat me. That irritated me. I don't train like that. There aren't many girls who do this and I am the only one in Michigan, so I train with men that are sometimes a foot taller and outweigh me by 70 or 80 pounds. I think it gives me an advantage because I'm not intimidated by size, and I train to win by technique, speed, and power," Mariah said.

With a grudge and a smile, the Michigan farm girl was ready. As the reigning world champion in this event, double-stick fighting is what she came here for. It is a different animal, requiring a whole new level of skill and consciousness than single-stick fighting. The sticks clashed in a fury and the Colorado fighter was taken back by the force and accuracy behind Moore's strikes.

In the finals, Moore burned through three continuous rounds of double-stick combat. Moore disarmed and even broke one of her sticks on the body of her Aussie opponent. At the final bell, there was no hesitation: Mariah Moore, at 14 years of age, was now a four-time world champion.

"I really wanted to make my hometown, my family, and my country proud. I trained so hard for this and to know that I fought the best fighters in my weight class that the world had to offer and I won makes all my hard work so worth it. I couldn't be happier," Mariah said.

As the reigning world championship team, Team USA dominated the 10th World Championships, taking 44 gold, 35 silver, and 30 bronze medals. The Philippines came in second with 35 gold, 18 silver, and 19 bronze. The United Kingdom finished in third place with 12 gold, 11 silvers, and 15 bronze medals, while Australia wound up in fourth with 10 golds, three silvers, and eight bronze medals. Canada rounded out the top five with four golds, nine silvers, and five bronze medals.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

August 22, West Michigan Whitecaps Game!

What a fun night!

I was asked to perform at the West Michigan Whitecaps game last night and it was the BOMB! I went on right before the game started and had a blast. The crowd loved it. I could hear comments from the stands, "I wouldn't mess with her!" There were several martial arts schools there. One was Standale Karate. Rick Heath is Sensei there and, he has been one of my judges on the local circuit many times. He stopped by to say "Hi" and said he couldn't believe how much I grew and I think he was surprised to see me do all those weapons! Anyway, I met some new friends and ate some Nachos and Popcorn and it was a great fun night! Noah was a little bummed that he didn't catch a Whitecaps Ball but he did get his picture taken with Crash and that made his day. This was my first baseball game and I have to say, they really go all out to make it a fun experience for everyone, especially the kids! They slung hotdogs into the stands, had contests, played music, and had kids throw out most of the first pitches.

Thanks Mr. Snodgrass and everyone at the West Michigan Whitecaps!

Friday, August 15, 2008

I worked and trained so hard for this event, in all sincerity and with complete respect, I believe I earned my medals. This makes me really sad.

Cebu Daily News / Sports

USA cruises to third straight overall title in Wekaf c’ships

Cebu Daily News
First Posted 09:42am (Mla time) 07/27/2008

A campaign that started off with a lot of promise ended in bitter disappointment.

Team Philippines failed to bring home the overall championship in the 10th World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation Championships, bowing to powerhouse United States at the tournament’s final day yesterday at the Ayala Center Cebu Activity Center.

Despite playing on its home turf, Team Philippines could not make the most out of the golden opportunity to take back the title it last held eight years ago, as it ended up with just 35 gold medals, 18 silvers and 19 bronze medals.

The USA, on the other hand, finished with a flurry, ending up with an astounding 44 golds, 35 silvers and 30 bronze medals to achieve a rare three-peat.


After starting off with 20 medals during the forms or “sayaw” competition, Team Philippines managed just 15 more gold medals in the tournament’s final two days.

Mere whispers of questionable judging at the start of the tournament turned into a deafening statement as the Supreme Grandmaster himself, Atty. Dionisio Cañete, rued the spotty officiating in this year’s tournament.

“It was the worst that I’ve seen. Kung dili lang jud ‘ta host, gubot jud siguro kaayo ni,” said Cañete in an interview yesterday.

He also regretted the fact that there were seven events that did not have any entries from the Philippines since the records of the players who were supposedly joining those said events were lost by the coach.

“Those were very strong players, medal hopefuls in fact. It was really a case of negligence and spotty officiating,” he added.

It was a fact that was not lost on expatriate Scott Slezak, who did his part by winning two gold medals for the country. “We didn’t fill enough divisions. In doing that, we were giving away precious medals.
And we need to make the judging clearer because some fights were very one-sided,” explained Slezak.

Cañete however, offered no excuses for the country as he admitted that the USA came ready to fight and defend their title.

The USA’s white-hot finish was anchored on their dominance in the sparring events, where they captured 12 gold medals in the single-stick division and then added three more in the double-stick event.

The setback did not dampen the host’s hopes of reclaiming the championship at the next World Championships, slated in Mexico City in 2010.

The United Kingdom finished in third place with 12 golds, 11 silvers and 15 bronze medals while Australia wound up in fourth with 10 golds, three silvers and eight bronze medals. Canada rounded out the top five with four golds, nine silvers and five bronze medals. Correspondent Jonas Panerio

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The 2008 World Championships, Cebu Philippines, Vacation in the Philippines, and my Rockin' HOMECOMING!

My Church!
The Ice Cream Caboose!

Showboat Automotive!
What a nice Welcome Home!

At my Surprise Party! They wanted to see what all the talk was about!
What a shock!
Me and my Twin! My cousin Michelle
Me, with a Tarzier!
Master Bong and I, The Chocolate Hills
Sweet Victory!
My World Championship Weapons Competition.

Well, as all of you know I just got back from the Philippines for the WEKAF 10th World Championships. While I was there I reached my dreams and beyond and won 2 Golds and 1 Silver. The Golds were in Multiple Traditional Weapons, and Full Contact Double Stick Fighting. I got the silver in the Single Stick Division. The competition was tough this year more than my last worlds because it was in the country that the Art originated, the people of the Philippines are great at what they do. In order to win the gold in double stick fighting, I had to first fight an American girl from Denver (Erin) who was much bigger than I. After I won that round, I had a bit to rest then went back at it with a girl named Bonnie from Australia. Both the girls were good, but i wanted it more, and i trained my heart out to go there and WIN! (thanks Steve for reminding me abt. that!) While it was amazing to win the world championships, touring the country was amazing too.
While there for three weeks we went all over with GM Bong who led the way. We saw places like Bohol, Cebu, Manila and Boracay. I saw things that would just blow you away. In the Jornales System, we have a form named Mayon, after the largest volcano in the Philippines. We went there and saw the exact thing that had inspired GM Bong to create that form! It was amazing, we went more than half way up the huge mountain and we just in awe. The view was breathtaking yet shocking at the same time. From there you saw how far apart the towns really were and to know that the people from there have to walk everyday to work for at least 5 miles. We also saw the tarsier, the worlds smallest monkey and got to hold and feed them, swam and snorkeled in the coral reef where the water could easily pass as glass because it is so clear. There I saw all the tropical fish, the beautiful coral, sea snakes, eels, starfish, and much much more! I also go a horrific sun burn while snorkeling. And for those who were wondering...YES I did eat Balot (2 to be precise). It was not my favorite thing in the world. Neither were the tiny feathers in my teeth afterwards - but it was not BAD. I am very glad that I took the time and had the guts to try the cultures delicacy and what they like to eat.
So being away from my Mom and Brother for three weeks, I was a little homesick at the end and I was glad to be home this past Tuesday. Little did i know, my mom had pulled together a whole bunch of my friends and family and they all met me at the airport as i got off the plane and they all chanted "U-S-A! U-S-A! over and over! ( they even announced that i was a world champion over the airport intercom!) Then, the next day we took a ride downtown Lowell, and we saw like 5-6 signs with my name on it saying congrats. The support of my small community is just amazing! Everyone cares so much and so many people are behind be cheering me on and it makes it all worth while!
BUT, thats not all!
On Saturday my Sensei's wife Jamie took me out to get my hair and makeup done at the salon for a gift to me for winning (which was AMAZING!!!), and then we headed to my house to bring me home after a long night of babysitting and helping with the garage sale :). But again little did I know, it was all a big set up. My parents had put together a big huge surprise party for me! There had to be 150-200 people there! I had a blast and I performed on the fly for everyone, but it was the best night a girl could ever ask for! We had a pig roast dinner, a bonfire, and FIREWORKS! Everyone was there to support me and congratulate me...and it felt amazing to know how many people are really truly behind me! Then, my 6 girlfriends and I slept in a tent in my backyard and everything was just the best! So, before i bring this to a close, I have to say thank you to everyone who helped me, believed in me, and kept me in your prayers! I could not have done all of this if it were not for all of you wonderful people! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate everything you do for me! God Bless YOU!~

Fighting for the Gold, Me=USA(BLACK) VS AUSTRALIA(RED)

The Church buried by Mayon's eruption...The people who took sanctuary are still in the church, buried.
Yes, I did!

Fight Tunes!

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North American International Karate Championships, Detroit Michigan Competition for Grand Champion

Kent County Youth Fair Talent Show 1st Place Performance - Mariah and Noel Loveless "Boom Boom POW!"

Detroit D'Lux Charity Challenge Martial Arts Tournament