Inter-schools karate competition is rare in the Cayman Islands so the Purple Dragon club should be commended for putting on an open tournament this weekend.
The Purple Dragon School of Martial Arts hosts its first big tournament in the Cayman Islands in five years on Saturday from 10am and head instructor Sensei Floyd Baptiste is looking forward to an outstanding day of competition in a total of 98 disciplines.
It is the Cayman Islands Karate 2013 Championships has invited all local karate schools to participate at the St. Ignatius Catholic School on Walkers Road.
It’s a light contact tournament using international open circuit sport karate rules to ensure that no advantage is gained by any particular discipline.
All categories are included – sparring, katas, self-defence and weapons – as well as age groups and abilities for children ages 4 to 17 and adults over 18.
Sensei Baptiste, a fifth degree Purple Dragon black belt and head of the Cayman Islands Purple Dragon Dojo, is organising the event.
He said: “We’re expecting over 100 participants. Online registration closes on Wednesday but competitors can register at the venue between 8.30 to 9.30am on Saturday.”
Others schools expected to compete include Harold Davis’s school and the Kempo school run by Owen Lattie.
Any martial arts student may enter to be crowned a Cayman Islands karate champion. Registration is $25 for two categories, with a $5 charge for each additional category.
Additional money raised will go toward the Purple Dragon child sponsorship programme, which gives Cayman’s underprivileged children the opportunity for personal growth through training in self-defence and self-discipline at Purple Dragon.
The tournament serves as preparation for the Purple Dragon world championships in Trinidad next year.
Purple Dragon fighters practice the Don Jitsu Ryu style. It was developed by founder Professor Don Jacob who is based in Trinidad and has practiced for more than 40 years.
Through the Purple Dragon Young Leader’s Programme, they encourage kids to: “Do Something Positive Instead”.
The club’s ethos is to generate confidence to make new friends and the discipline to focus in school.
It also instils the courage to break limitations and endorses on the strength to say no to drugs and crime and to resist negative peer pressure.
Purple Dragon’s philosophy is also to develop the ability to finish positive things that exponents start.
The club has about 120 members of which 15 to 20 are active black belts. The club’s instructors are Baptiste, his wife, Karen, as well as Geddis Hislop, Atonio Thompson, Cindy Moore, Leonard Lewis, Mario Dadal and Euclides “Beco” Pitta.
Five of their instructors are going to test for their black belts in Boca Raton, Florida with Purple Dragon founder Professor Don Jacob. They are Leonard Lewis, Mario Dadal, Cathy Williams, 12-year-old Lance Jefferson and Steffen Pitta, 16.