Karate tournament set for Saturday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 11, 2003

The fifth annual Southern States Open Martial Arts Championships will be held on Saturday, June 14 at the Andalusia Elementary School Gymnasium. The tournament is sponsored by Andalusia Leisure Services/Adult Activities Center, Opp Yoshukai Karate and Andalusia Isshinryu Karate. The tournament is sanctioned by the United States Yoshukai Karate Association competition circuit.

Competitors from all styles of martial arts -- including Karate, Kung-Fu and Taekwondo -- are welcome to compete in the event.

Twenty different schools from six states competed in last year's tournament. Pre-registration forms for competitors from Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Alabama have already been received for this year's event and tournament directors expect 150 to 200 competitors to compete Saturday. All local karate schools are also slated to compete.

"Over previous years, the Southern States Open has gained the reputation of a tournament with good, hard, fair competition, along with an attitude of good sportsmanship, honor and respect," Mark Rudd instructor of Andalusia Isshinryu Karate, said.

This year's tournament is made possible due to the support of the Andalusia Leisure Services staff, Andalusia Elementary School, and the several local businesses who have generously offered their support to bring this event to Andalusia, Rudd added.

Businesses serving as co-sponsors for the fifth annual Southern States Open Martial Arts Championships are USA Gym and Fitness Center, DYNEA USA, Shaw Industries, Balanced Family Health Care, Dr. Joann Smith & Karen Doulin, CRNP. Local supporters include T&C Pharmacy, Inc., Breedloves Ace Lumber Building Supply, Jones Veterinary Hospital, Mr. Henry's/Morgan Distributing Company, Bob Taylor Carpet One, Harden Enterprises/Crispy Chick, Southern Pipe & Supply Co., Inc., Larry Grissett, Attorney at Law, Old Mexico Restaurant, Chad Hughes, Sound & Security, Greg White, CPA, Parish Bait Shop, Catrett Exterminators, Pharm-a-care, Scott Dutton Construction, Dr. Phillip C. Hardee, D.M.D., Covington County Bank, Subway & Little Caesar's and Twisted Scissors.

Registration for competitors is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday. There is a $40 entry fee for competitors who register at the door. Admission for spectators is $5 for adults (13 and up), and $3 for children(6 to 12), under 6 free.

Opening Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature Director of Andalusia Leisure Services Dwight Mikel and Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson.

Competition will begin at 10:15 a.m. Events will run continuously all day until the completion of the tournament Saturday afternoon.