Originally Published: May 3, 2016 10:42 p.m.
Thirteen students and one instructor demonstrated first-rate skill at the USAMA Grand Internationals Tournament in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Grand Internationals attracts competition from around the world to compete in events that test forms, take down sparring, weapons, point sparring, full contact sparring and more.
This year, Shihan Alex Morris led his team to 15 first-place titles and one Grand Champion title - Shihan himself capturing the Grand Champion title for his weapons forms against all reigning adult Black Belts at the competition.
Three of the students - Reanna Pehl, Danielle Hamilton and Makenzee Morris - placed first in either forms or weapons, and had the opportunity to compete in their divisions for a Grand Champion title. Earning this award, however, requires defeating all other first-place winners from the youth divisions.
It is always an honor to have the opportunity to test their skills at this level of competition. Every student who attended this year placed in two or more of their events that they competed in.
The youngest competitor was 5-year-old Marley Preston. She took a first place in the 5 and Under division in sparring and a second in Chanbara - sport Kenjutsu.
Six of the students captured one or more first-place titles.
Danielle Hamilton brought home three first-place wins in forms, sparring, and full contact sparring, with two more second-place wins also in weapons and chanbara.
First-time competitor Ben Roberts won a first in sparring, and Reyanna Pehl captured first in both forms and sparring.
Makenzee Morris landed a first in weapons and a first in sparring, while Beth St. Laurent brought home a first in sparring.
Shihan Alex was also honored to participate in the team demonstration for Bunkai and Kata Grand Champion. This is to see who can demonstrate the applications of the winning Kata form the best. The demonstration went splendidly and the team captured the Grand Champion win.
All in all the Dojo team brought back to Prescott Valley 15 first-place wins, 13 second places, eight third places and 10 fourth-place wins.
In addition to all of this, student efforts in fundraising made it possible for the team to make a $700 donation to a local student from Franklin Phonetic School, Sage Young.
Sage is currently battling leukemia and the students and families of Shinpu-Ren wanted to be able to give back to their community by fundraiser sharing with Sage. They encourage the rest of the community to help also by going to her gofundme page and adding a donation as well: https://www.gofundme.com/sagesjourney.
Shihan also extends his appreciation to all of the parents, families and businesses that helped make this possible.
Shinpu-Ren Family Karate is located at 6570 E 6th St., Prescott Valley.