Karate in the Cayman Islands has always been incredibly popular and, with the introduction of an annual national championship, the sport’s growth among youngsters looks assured.
The inaugural Purple Dragon National Karate 2013 Championships at the St. Ignatius Catholic School and was a resounding success.
In total, 113 people took part in the recent tournament with participants coming from Purple Dragon Cayman Head Quarters, Purple Dragon Crewe Road and Shotokan Karate Association, run by Harold Davis.
The tournament was open to all Cayman karate schools and competition was in all categories, ages and abilities – sparring, katas, self-defence and weapons for beginners, intermediate, advanced and black belt levels.
Purple Dragon Martial Arts instructor Sensei Floyd Baptiste said he was delighted with how the tournament went.
“It was great for martial arts in Cayman to have a national event where all schools were invited to participate in,” he said.
“Some of our pupils, particularly the younger ones have never competed against anyone outside their school, so it was a great experience for them from a competitive and a social perspective.”
The tournament was an invaluable learning opportunity for students intending to compete in the World Purple Dragon Championships in Trinidad next year which attracts more than 1,000 competitors worldwide.
“With the World Purple Dragon Karate Championships next year, our national tournament gave students the chance to get another competition under their belt, to practice some new routines and to familiarise themselves with competing,” Sensei Floyd said.
Two outstanding competitors who were specially recognised as winners of the Most Valuable Player award – Leonard Lewis and Lance Jefferson – received the most points overall across all categories.
The team events, as always, proved popular with spectators including team sparring (over 18) won by Steffen Pitta, Leonard Lewis and Phillip Bodden, team sparring (U-18) won by Dante Baptiste, Mathew Meghoo, Sean Byles and Steffen Pitta, team sparring (mixed) won by Susan Eden, Mario Dadal and Leonard Lewis and the team forms won by Luke Byles and Leonard Lewis.
There were several individual winners – all of whom are listed on the Purple Dragon Cayman Island website at www.purpledragon.ky
The tournament was sponsored by major sponsors Cayman Islands Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture and Tower Marketing. Other sponsors included Samson & McGrath, Atwater, Sprint Express Services, Cayman National, LC Moneyplan & Sameena’s Beauty Centre.
“We would like to thank our sponsors, our many volunteers and our members for their constant support and enthusiasm,” said Sensei Geddes Hislop.
The Purple Dragon Martial Arts School is located inside the Mirco Centre, 294 North Sound Way Industrial Park they can be reached by phone on 946-1241 or via email at [email protected]