Monday, July 26, 2010
As most of you know, this past week my Dad and I flew to Mexico for the WEKAF 11th World Championships. This was my third world tournament, and my Dads very first. As soon as we got into the resort, we could tell the heat was going to be a HUGE issue to deal with as we knew we would be competing in a cement building with no air-conditioning..so we got straight to practicing every morning and night until the tournament started! And boy was that to our advantage because the heat and humidity was almost unbearable!
The first day of competition was designated for forms. I competed with the Tabak-Patilim in the Traditional Multiple Weapons division and won a silver medal, and Dad competed with the the form Bahai (the form that I used at my very first worlds in 2006!) and won the gold! But that was not the end of the day for us, we still had to do the team form competition! This was the first time ever for our team, The Jornales System, to compete in this division at the world championships. In the end, we tied with the reigning 5x world champion team, and after a show of hands we got the silver. That was such a good day!
The next day was fighting day!! (Thursday) It started with my single stick competition. This is the division that I have wanted to win ever since my first worlds, and I decided this would be the year I get the gold! (Especially for Mushtaq Ali because we have worked and worked on it!) I ended up in the lightweight division, and man o' man did I fight my heart out! I WON THE GOLD!! Soon after that I had to fight in the double stick division...my favorite!! At that point I was the reigning champion for the past two world championships and I was not about to lose that title! I fought and fought and, yes, I GOT THE GOLD!!
So in the end I took home 2 GOLD and 2 SILVER, and my Dad took 1 GOLD and 1 SILVER for Team USA!!! I am so proud of my Dad for doing so well at his first world tournament!!!
But before I close, I want to take a moment to thank all who continue to follow, support and pray for me throughout all of my endeavors. You all fuel my passion and drive and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that!
Also a special thanks to Steve VanHarn, Mushtaq Ali for helping me on my fighting skills and techniques, for Grand Master Bong Jornales for teaching me everything that I know in the Philippine Martial Arts, my family for always being there for me and following me no matter how high I may reach for my dreams, and to KWON Martial Arts for being the best sponsor an athlete could ever ask for. I could not do what I do without you guys!
Mariah...6 Time WEKAF World Champion!!!
P.S..I am so very sorry I did not post any stick fighting pictures. They ALL turned out blurry :(
Friday, July 2, 2010
It's summertime in West Michigan and all the natives know what that means!
Party in the park with Maranda and WOTV 4!
We kicked off this years park parties in Cedar Springs and OH, what fun it was! The WOTV park parties feature FREEEEEEEEEEE EVERYTHING! Free Food including full lunches to anyone 18 and under, Free Games, Free Rides, Free Entertainment(ME Included!) and More! What more could you ask for!
The second park party of the season was held at Lamar Park in Wyoming. This is such a nice park. They even have a water park complete with all kinds of water sprinklers for the kids to play in!
People always ask me, "What's your favorite part about the park parties?" I have to say, without hesitation, its all the new friends I meet every year and of course...I would be remiss if I did not tell you that I have made long lasting friendships at the park parties too! I always look forward to seeing the Colbert Family who you know as NEXT II NONE! I love them all right from Mom and Dad Colbert, Trent, Michael, and Durell and of course - MA GIRLS!
The next park party will be at the Barry County Expo Center on July 8th. You can look forward to seeing Jessica Price, Next II None, and lots of other youth entertainment, including ME!
SEE YOU THERE!
On Friday June 25th I had the the great honor of walking in the opening ceremonies of the Meijer Michigan State Games parade of athletes carrying the American Flag! I met some awesome athletes and hung out with the Tae Kwon Do people for the evening. We watched the torch come in, carried by East Kentwood Athletes, and then the flame was lit by hockey Olympian Mike Knuble. We then were treated with a concert from American Idol's Matt Giraud!
Saturday was a great day too! I had the great honor of speaking and performing a Filipino Martial Arts Demo for the Tae Kwon Do tournament. Thanks so very much to my great sponsor, KWON USA for the referral! I made lots of new friends and got to meet amazing athletes, Masters, and Grand Masters.
It's always a great honor for me to be able to share my story with everyone. It is my hope that others can see me, know that I'm your average American girl and if I can make my dreams come true with hard work and dedication, they(YOU) can too! Dare to dream BIG, Believe in yourself, and never, ever, say "I Can't."