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A misty, all-day rain did not halt more than 700 competitors, or 500-plus spectators from turning out to the 35th annual Universal Martial Arts Championship on March 14 at the Springdale Recreation Center.
Being a part of this event was one of the most fascinating, exciting and rewarding experiences, that one could hope, Hanshi James E. White said.
Presented by Hanshi White and Universal Karate Studios in Lancaster, this was not a regional event, but a national championship tournament. Professional and amateur martial artists came from as far north as Connecticut, far west as California and Texas and as far south as Florida.
The Springdale Recreation Center was filled to capacity as people started arriving around 8:30 a.m. and did not stop until around 12:30 p.m.
The children’s divisions, ages 3-12, started competition at 9 a.m. and continued until after noon. Young adults and adults divisions began around noon and the black belt and grand champions division did not begin until after 3 p.m. and ended after 7.
At the end of the day more than 1,500 trophies, medals, plaques and belts were awarded to winners.
The six-foot first-place trophies were a favorite among the kids., with the local kids winning a large amount of these awards. All competitors were champions in their own right and will continue to be, as this is the way of the martial artist, White said.
Although the competition was fierce in over 200 divisions, it ended injury free.
A large local following, thanks to the support from Universal Karate Studios – under Grandmaster (Hanshi) James White, USA Karate – under master Rick Taylor and Alpha Omega Karate – under Sensei TimDuncan, turned out.
“We thank the parents so much for the support and help in making this event possible,” White said. “We would also thank the sponsors.”
Please check our website for details: www.uksonline.com or call 286-5155.