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Kicking & screaming

Karate tournament comes to OMS

Logan Wilmot, 5, of Oxford delivers a kick. (click for larger version)
February 10, 2010 - Oxford Middle School was full of people kicking, punching and screaming Saturday, but nobody got suspended or even arrested for their behavior.

That's because it was all part of the 2010 Michigan Sport Karate Open. A total of 249 competitors, representing about 20-25 schools, participated in the martial arts tournament.

"We had people coming up from Toledo and Dayton, Ohio and coming down from as far north as Grayling (Michigan," said Master Jeff Bryant, the event's promoter and organizer. "It's pretty much the whole state and the surrounding areas."

Bryant is a six-degree black belt in Isshin-Ryu karate who was inducted into the International Karate and Kickboxing Hall of Fame during the tournament (see story on Page 3).

Competitors ranged in age from 4-year-olds in the "Little Dragons" division all the way up to senior citizens in their 50s and 60s.

They competed based on age and skill level.

Saturday's event was one of nine tournaments to be held throughout the year as part of the Michigan Sport Karate Circuit. "This is the first tournament of the year of that circuit," Bryant said. "It's almost like NASCAR."

Points are awarded to competitors for each place they achieve. For example, first place is worth 100 points, second is 80 points, and so on and so forth.

At the end of the year, those with a high number of wins and points are honored at a ceremony.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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