Seven competitors from the Purple Dragon School of Martial Arts brought home 18 awards, including 11 first-place trophies, from the 35th annual U.S. Capitol Classics Open Martial Arts Tournament in Washington, D.C., Aug, 4-5.

The 18 awards include five for second place and one each for third and fourth place.

The U.S. Capitol Classics is considered to be among the most prestigious martial arts tournaments in Sport Karate with a NASKA 6 A rating (the highest rating), a press release states.

The all-Caymanian team, comprising four Purple Dragon black belt competitors and three competitors under black belt rank, participated in several divisions such as sparring, forms, extreme forms, weapons, extreme weapons, self-defense and the highly contested 17-and-under synchronized forms division, in which team members Dante Baptiste and Isabella Powery took third place. Dante and Isabella also went on to win four first-place trophies each in various forms and fighting divisions.

Purple Dragon dominated in the self-defense division with Isabella Powery taking the top title and Danette McLaughlin (a mom and a first-time competitor) capturing second place in their divisions. They were assisted by Abraham Powery and Dante Baptiste. Abraham went on to win first place in creative weapons, second place in continuous fighting and second place in creative forms, with Dante taking first place.

The two youngest competitors, Josiah Baptiste and Corey McLaughlin, both 9 years old, won second and third in sparring, respectively, and Josiah also earned fourth place in his forms division.

Sensei Geddes Hislop, a 5th degree Black Belt, brought home two first-place victories for creative forms and weapons and second place in sparring in the 50 years-and-over divisions.

Six of the seven Purple Dragon competitors pose after Day 1 of the martial arts competition in Washington, D.C.

“I am very proud of the team and the level of discipline and commitment they demonstrated in preparation for this event. It really shows that hard work pays off, and we are very excited to take part in more international competition,” said Shihan Floyd Baptiste, head instructor at Purple Dragon Cayman Islands.

The Purple Dragon International Team consisted of five countries, led by Purple Dragon’s chief instructor and world champion coach Professor Don Jacob . The team won a tally of 21 first place, 9 second place, 14 third place and 9 fourth place awards.

For more information on Purple Dragon Cayman Islands, visit or call 946-1241.

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