A spectacle it promised to be and that was certainly the case at the Purple Dragon 2013 Karate Championships.
Staged at the St Ignatius Church Hall last month, the level of competition was of a high standard and so well received was it that the club’s first major tournament in five years will now become a regular feature.
Judging from the feedback from the many participants, spectators and volunteers, the event was a huge success.
Sensei Floyd Baptiste runs the Cayman Islands branch of Purple Dragon which was started by Professor Don Jacob in Trinidad in the 70s which has evolved in into his Don Jitsu Ryu System.
“We started on time and once we got started things went smoothly, we did not have any injuries and all of the participants had fun in the spirit of open competition,” said Sensei Floyd.
“So far I have not heard any negative comments from any of the participants or officials. Everyone seemed pleased with the organisation of the event.”
There were 114 competitors, 94 from Purple Dragon Cayman Islands, ten from Cayman Islands Shotokan Karate Association and ten from Purple Dragon Crewe Road branch.
Sensei Floyd said: “The Purple Dragon Cayman Islands Karate Championships will be an annual event from now on.
“At the next one we will invite competitors from the region, the US and Canada, making it international. Judging from the success of this event we will have to source a larger venue for next year’s championships.
“Highlights of the event for me would be the black belt open forms division which was the first event that opened the tournament.
“It was inspirational for the youngsters to be able to see the black belts perform, at a high level which then set the tone of the event.
“The team sparring and team forms divisions at the end of the tournament was full of excitement, energy and creativity.
“The crowd would get behind their favourite teams and cheer like crazy during the team sparring. The team forms division brought out the creativity, as some team did their synchronized routine to music or with weapons or mirror style.
“ It was very entertaining to watch and I have to commend them of the effort they put into each routine.
“We would like to express our sincerest appreciation to all of the volunteers and sponsors without whom this event would not have happened.
“Big thank you to our gold sponsors The Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture and Tower Marketing, and all of our bronze sponsors Cayman National Bank, AtWater Ltd, LCMoneyplan.com, Samson & McGrath Attorneys-at-Law, Semeena’s Beauty Centre, Sprint Express Service thanks a million.”
This event was sound preparation for five young Caymanians who are in Florida this week being tested by Professor Don Jacob.
Leonard Lewis wants to achieve his third degree black belt, Mario Dadal will be testing for his second degree and Cathy Williams, Steffen Pitta and Lance Jefferson are going for their first degree black belts.
They will go through three days of constant evaluations looking at every aspect of their physical and mental preparedness.
At the same time the black belt instructors will attend training seminars with Jacob and his team of martial arts experts, to increase their knowledge of the Don Jitsu Ryu system.