Karate champs set for big night

Martial arts fans are relishing the news that the world-renowned Team Paul Mitchell Karate will soon be in Cayman to give demonstrations and clinics.  

Team Paul Mitchell Karate is a fluid group of champions who tour the world giving demonstrations and inspiring onlookers to get into martial arts. They are ready to dazzle fans at the “Night of Champions” exhibition at the Arts and Recreation Centre in Camana Bay on May 3, from 6 to 7 p.m.  

Event organizer Bob Daigle said the team recently competed in the Ocean State Nationals in Rhode Island and is in top form to motivate Cayman’s youth.  

One team member is Tyler Weaver who recently competed for the first time in the adult black belt division and ended up winning the overall grand championships in both the forms and the weapons divisions.  

Weaver, 18, started in martial arts as a child. According to his mother Stephanie, his interest was piqued in 2003 at the age of 7, after seeing Taylor Lautner win the U.S. Open on ESPN. “After that, it was all he could think about,” she said.  

Daigle, a former world karate champion, sees incredible potential in Cayman’s children who already take his classes. “I truly believe that after seeing Team Paul Mitchell perform, Cayman’s youngsters will also be inspired to reach higher levels,” he said. 

“Is there a future Tyler Weaver out there in Cayman? Only time will tell.”  

There is a huge mix of talent coming in the 12-strong team. Wushu master Austin Jorgensen will also be performing. Wushu is a Chinese martial art that mixes power with visual techniques.  

“I know children are going to enjoy his performance,” Daigle said. “I remember inviting a wushu champion to perform at the first martial arts tournament in Cayman in 1988. He was the late, great Richard Brandon. He was a former Team Paul Mitchell member and mesmerized Cayman’s children at the Lions Centre that night. Now 26 years later, another team member will perform this beautiful art.  

“We also have local children as young as 5 performing demos at this event. One of the children is Dylan DaCosta. His dad Jason performed at the first tournament, and now it’s time to watch his son perform.” 

The students will gain some invaluable experience performing in front of a large audience. When their demos are over, they can join their parents to watch Team Paul Mitchell perform martial arts demonstrations.  

There will also be a special sneak preview demo the day before on the Crescent at Camana Bay at 5:30 p.m. A few team members will perform some demonstrations and pose for pictures. 

A guaranteed highlight will be Jackson Rudolph performing at the “Night of Champions,” demonstrating his signature weapon, the bo, a wooden staff in the shape of a walking stick. 

Rudolph is only 16. At age 8 he sat in the crowd at the ISKA World Championship watching some of the world’s best martial artists compete. It was there that he turned to his parents and proclaimed that some day he would be just like them, and not only be among the best but represent Team Paul Mitchell. 

Other team members performing will be Caitlin Dechelle and Kyle Montagna. 

“Special thanks to Camana Bay for sponsoring the venue for this event,” said Daigle. “I can’t say enough about how helpful they have been.  

“We would also like to thank Lisa Ebanks of Villas of the Galleon and Sunshine Suites for sponsoring some of the accommodations, FAST Signs, Watler’s Metal products and Dollar Car Rental for providing transportation for the team while they are here.” 

He added that without support from the business community, events like this are not possible, and he hopes more companies and individuals come on board and support this event.  

Tickets for the show are $10. Net proceeds will provide martial arts scholarships for young Caymanians who cannot afford martial arts lessons. 

For more information about this event or to reserve tickets, email [email protected] 

Tyler-Weaver-S

Tyler Weaver is an 18-year-old sensation.

Tyler-Rudolph-S

Jackson Rudolph, 14, is bound to inspire the kids.

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