Updated: Jul 28
The 2022 Competitive Season closed with the Isshinryu Hall Of Fame Tournament in Gatlinburg, TN on July 16th. This event drew competitors from around the nation to test their skills in this Isshinryu specific event and the Ingram's team was ready for the challenge.
Through the year, the Ingram's team has been training and attending karate tournaments each month in preparation for the end of season events. Beginning at the end of June, the Ingram's team attended AAU National Championships in Ft. Lauderdale, FL with the goal of bringing home national titles.
The AAU Karate National Championships are held annually in various locations around the nation and bring together the finest athletes from all 50 states to test their skills in Kata (Forms), Kumite (Sparring), and Kobudo (Weapons). The event began with opening ceremonies on July 4th, and the athletes from Ingram's were ready to represent their dojo and their nation with pride.
The Ingram's team is comprised of children, teens, and adults of all ages and experience levels. From the beginner athlete to the seasoned competitor, everyone on the Ingram's team trained together to show their best performance at the season's final USA event.
So much time and effort has been dedicated to training and learning how to become a stronger and faster athlete. The Ingram's coaches, instructors, and athletes have proven they have what it takes to set out on a journey of focused training toward a long term goal. That's what is so unique about karate competition, although the athlete trains as an individual, the camaraderie and support that can be found in team sports is strong on the Ingram's Competitive team.
Senseis, coaches, and students all share a common goal and work together to bring out their strengths and overcome their challenges. The friendships that a student develops through the competitive season are often lifelong and enduring because the shared experience of the love for traditional karate combined with the challenge of elite competition weaves together a strong foundation of connection with others.
One of my favorite things about our team is watching students support each other through their challenges and cheer each other on toward their victories. ~Sensei Jen
Karate competition is great for children as well as teens and adults. It can even be a family endeavor that helps kids and parents share a connection through the martial arts. Male and female, children and adults, all those who love traditional karate can benefit from the competitive edge of martial arts.
Once the AAU National Championships began the final day of competition, athletes who took the gold in the advanced elite divisions were entered into "Finals" where these elite athletes are spotlighted on stage and go head to head for the Grand Championship.
This is no small event, and it's quite an honor to even make it to finals. Ingram's is proud to say that Isshinryu was strong at Finals and was represented by Leo Martinez, of Ingram's Okinawan Karate (Pictured Left with Senseis John and Cindy Ingram) Jadyn Frank and Sensei Jen Davenport, of Ingram's Karate in New Port Richey, and Mikey Molinero, and Sensei Sheri Angwin, of Ingram's Karate in Carrollwood. This extremely competitive event was such fun, and Isshinryu is proud of these athletes and their commitment to their training and their style; with Molinero and Martinez bringing home a Grand Championship title.
The national championships were just the start of the week, with the WUKF World Championships following just a day after Nationals came to a close.
This event is an international event that boasted a whopping 1500+ competitors from 33 countries.
The Ingram's team was ready to take on the challenge and brought their game face to represent Isshinryu after being chosen to be a competitor on the USA National Team. A win at this level is a legitimate world championship title, and Ingram's is proud to say that our team took home many World Championship titles this year.
The journey from the start of the season in January, through the training and events that lead our team through the summer was a commitment to learning to grow and improve as a martial artist. These athletes showed strength and courage at each event, and a warrior spirit combined with the humility and respect that is ingrained in the martial arts.
The trophies and medals, the national and world titles; these are all physical reminders of what one can accomplish when dedication and hard work come together toward a goal.
These athletes have represented themselves, and their style of karate well and we are so proud to have them as members of our competitive team.
As the summer winds down and families prepare for back to school, our competitive season comes to a pause so that families and coaches can regroup and enjoy some downtime.
In the fall, our athletes will take on the challenge and begin again, working toward the 2023 season and setting their sights on another exciting year of learning and challenges....and fun of course.
Until then, we'll keep training and practicing! We'll see you next year!