Sunday, January 18, 2009
Detroit D'Lux Charity Challenge Tournament to benefit Scoliosis
A couple months ago a martial artist friend of mine, Craig Marks, told me about a tournament in Detroit. He said it was a lot of fun and that I should give it a shot. He also let me know that it's for a great cause-charity. I think they sponsor a different cause every year and donate a percentage of the proceeds to that cause. This year it was Scoliosis. If you've been here much, you know that I am very passionate about helping others who may not be as fortunate as me and about having a compassionate heart and spirit. Mix that with the love of martial arts and competition and ITS ON!
I WAS AMAZED! The place was packed and I mean completely packed in, and you can see from my pictures that there was STANDING ROOM ONLY!
It was so interesting to see so many different styles, schools, colorful uniforms, and a wonderful ethnic mix too. We saw Wushoo, Kung Fu, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and lots and lots more. This year, they got to see ARNIS!
I have to admit, it was a bit stressful for me because they do things a little differently on the east side of the state. When you register, they give you cards for each event and you have to listen for your event very carefully because when it's called, you take your card to the ring, give it to the judges, and that is your pass to compete. If you're not there-You miss out. I was glad mom was there to help me be where I needed to be. Dad had Noah and were running the camera. Things were pretty calm for the first hour or so...then I really got put to the test but here's where I can thank Master Bong and Sensei, and Mushtaq for the conditioning because it really paid off. I was called to ring 2 for Traditional Weapons. That went great. I had about 8-10 competitors. Bow Staffs, Scythe, Single Stick(but a style I did not recognize), and me with Sickles. I performed Sagasa San Got, it went very well. I took 1st. Then, the game was on. I was almost immediately called back to ring 2 for Forms. While I was waiting for my turn, they called me in ring 1 for Open Weapons. Since I was last to compete in a field of maybe 12 in Open Hand Forms, they said to go to ring 1 where I would be the first competitor in Open Weapons. There I did Sayow to "Let the Bodies hit the Floor" by Drowning Pool". That was so fun! Loved having the music to pump me up and I think the crowd liked the Tali-bongs! Mom said that corner of the gym was packed by the time I finished. I don't know because as soon as I bowed at the end of my form, the scorekeeper from ring 2 commanded that I get there now because I was up. I didn't even get a minute in between, I ran straight from performing in ring 1 to doing Mayon(Open Hand form), in ring 2. OH MAN was that hard. I had a hard time catching my breath because of the vocal cord dysfunction, but I "sucked it up", took a deep breath, said a quick prayer...and went for it. There were about 12 or more competitor in Open Hand. Lots of really good and interesting competition. Too bad I didn't see a lot of them because the second I was done with Mayon, I was being called back to ring 1 for judges call. I am very happy to tell you that I took 1st in Open Weapons. Thanks Master Bong! I owe it to you. I am very grateful to have you, sharing your wisdom and knowledge with me. I'm not sure Detroit has seen a lot of the Philippine martial arts...but I think they really liked it. NEXT! As soon as I shook the judges hands, I was called back to ring 2 for judges call there. WOW WOW. 1st in Open Hand! YAY! But my story is not done yet. I was just beginning to settle down a little and I went up to t he front to get my trophies and guess what! They called me back to ring 2 to to compete for BLACK BELT GRAND CHAMPION! I know, you're asking, "Why Black Belt Grand Champion, when I'm a Brown Belt?" Well, In the Open Weapons competition, they did not have a division for under black belts so they told me if I wanted to compete, I'd have to move up and compete with the Black Belts. So I did. Since I got first, everyone who took first in any black belt event was eligible to compete for GRAND CHAMPION. So I did.-
So, less than 10 minutes after competing in open hand and open weapons, I competed for BLACK BELT GRAND CHAMPION. There were so many awesome martial artists. There was a girl with a bow staff that was incredible. I performed Sayow again to music. (A very special THANK YOU! TO JEREMY FOR RUNNING THE MUSIC FOR ME!) I think they really like seeing something different- I love Philippine Martial arts! I had so many people asking, "What Style is that!" "What is your school?", "Who is your teacher?", "Where are you from?" "What weapon is that?" It made me very proud and at the same time very grateful and honored to say, "It is Philippine Martial Arts, called Arnis and I train with Grand Master Bong Jornales in Holland Michigan." I really believe that the Philippine martial arts do have a place in open competition and we need to make that voice heard. The only way to do that is to go and compete. Let them see what we do-get their respect the good old fashioned way-earn it. I know, it's very frustrating that there is no stick fighting in open events which is the core of what we do, but the way to get there is by going and doing and letting them know that we are out there, we are fierce competitors, and that the PHILIPPINE MARTIAL ARTS deserve the attention and respect. With Fight Quest, a lot of eyes were opened. By Blogging, eyes are opened. We can also open eyes by competing, performing, speaking, writing articles, etc. I would encourage Pacific Island Artists to take the steering wheel and DRIVE!
Thank you Detroit D'Lux Charity Tournament Director Adam Lux, tournament officials and judges, and competitors-for having an open mind, open heart, and true martial spirit. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to compete in a fun and ALL STYLE friendly event. I made many new friends and I think I introduced some to the Philippine Martial arts that they never knew before.
BLACK BELT GRAND CHAMPION BABY~!!!!!!!!!!!!