• 68°

Karate open a success

Shown above: Fighting grand champions Michael Pearson, (left) and Natalie Hale (right) with tournament director Mark Rudd. Shown below: Natalie Hale in competition. | Courtesy photo

Twelve Andalusia Isshinryu Karate students earned first place honors Saturday at the 13th annual South Alabama Karate Open tournament at Straughn High School.

Schools from 12 martial arts schools competed in this year’s tournament, where students competed in weapons, kata and fighting in their respective belt and age category.

“We had another good turnout this year, and had some of the best black belt competition, in both youth and adult divisions, that we have seen in years,” tournament director Mark Rudd said. “Our tournament offers all the local students the opportunity to compete without traveling far away, and our students performed very well.”

The black belt grand champions were:

• Natalie Hale of Andalusia — women’s black belt fighting grand champion

• Michael Pearson of Opp — men’s black belt fighting grand champion

• Sherman Peek of Montgomery — youth black belt kata/weapons grand champion

• David Koda of Montgomery — adult black belt kata/weapons grand champion

Andalusia’s Isshinryu Karate students placed in the following events:

• Allen Butler, black belt — first place in musical kata, weapons and fighting; third place in kata

• Conner Dayton, black belt — first place in fighting, and third place in weapons

• Mike Gulledge, black belt — third place in weapons and kata

• Natalie Hale, black belt — first place in weapons, kata and fighting

• Sharon Joyner, black belt — third place in weapons, and fourth place in kata

• Hogan Nichols, black belt — second place in kata, and first place in fighting

• Kenny Blackston, brown belt — second place in weapons and kata; and third place in fighting

• Reese Burkhardt, brown belt — second place in weapons and kata

• Rex Butler, brown belt — first place in weapons and kata; second place in fighting

• Rexanne Butler, brown belt — third place in weapons; and second place in kata

• Cheyenne Dugger, brown belt — third place in fighting

• Marie Josey, brown belt — fourth place in weapons; and second place in fighting

• Colin Marcum, brown belt — second place in weapons; fourth place in kata; and third place in fighting

• Alex Myrick, brown belt — second place in weapons and kata; and third place in fighting

• Diamond Sasser, brown belt — first place in weapons and kata; and second place in fighting

• Thomas Duffy, green belt — third place in kata; and first place in fighting

• Matthew Faircloth, green belt — third place in fighting

• Abram Gruilford, green belt — fourth place in kata; and third place in fighting

• Tyler Martin, green belt — first place in weapons, kata and fighting

• John Allen Wise, green belt — second place in weapons and kata; and first place in fighting

• Fletcher Amant, white/yellow belt — second place in fighting

• Caleb Blackston, white/yellow belt — second place in weapons; and first place in kata and fighting

• Garrett Blackston, white/yellow belt — second place in kata; and first place in fighting

• Johnny Robert Boles, white/yellow belt — second place in kata

• Kyle Burgans, white/yellow belt — third place in kata

• Seth Dooley, white/yellow belt — first place in fighting

• Kyler Dusek, white/yellow belt — third place in fighting

• Eli Guilford, white/yellow belt — fourth place in kata and fighting

• Mitch McGlamory, white/yellow belt — second place in fighting

• Dev Patel, white/yellow belt — first place in weapons; and second place in fighting

• Taj Patel, white/yellow belt — third place in kata and fighting

• Paulk Smith, white/yellow belt — fourth place in kata

• Dalton Spears, white/yellow belt — first place in kata

• Jade Wiggins, white/yellow belt — first place in fighting