AIK celebrates 24 years of South Alabama Karate Open

Published 11:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Andalusia Isshinryu Karate hosted its 24th annual South Alabama Karate Open on Saturday, June 8, in the Straughn High School Gymnasium.

Competitors from 21 different martial arts schools gathered to compete for the gold. There was some outstanding talent from several different martial arts styles with dojos represented from Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Georgia.

“Special thanks to all competitors, instructors, and spectators that made this year’s SAKO another great event. We would also like to give a big thanks to local businesses and sponsors who support this tourney with ads in our tournament program. This gave visitors a glimpse of the amazing quality of life in Andalusia and Covington County,” SAKO Director Mark Rudd said.

After the smoke cleared, there were five grand champions crowned for this year. They are as follows:

  • Youth Kyu Rank Grand – Lennon Chandler, Keichu do, Enterprise, Alabama
  • Youth Black Belt Grand – Hudson Percy, Yoshukai, Gulf Shores, Alabama
  • Adult Black Belt Kata Grand – Jace Himes, Keichu do, Enterprise, Alabama
  • Women’s Black Belt Fighting Grand – Laura Neff, Isshinryu Karate, Dayton, Tennessee
  • Men’s Black Belt Fighting Grand – Tony Williams Isshinryu Karate, Lebanon, Tennessee

Local competitors from Andalusia Isshinryu Karate also placed in their respective categories. Those results are as follows:

  • James Doulin – Men’s Black Belt – third in weapons, second in kata, and second in fighting
  • Dhilan Patel – Purple belt – third in weapons and first in kata
  • Francesco Pagano – Beginner – first in weapons and first in kata
  • Lacey Rudd – Yellow belt – second in weapons, first in kata, and first in fighting
  • Cord Cook – Beginner – first in kata and first in fighting
  • Harrington Ferut – Beginner – second in fighting
  • Henley Sargent – Beginner – third in fighting
  • Calvin Sasser – Beginner – second in kata and first in fighting
  • Stetson Cook – Yellow belt – first in weapons and second in kata
  • Lawrence Sargent – Yellow belt – first in weapons, second in kata, and first in fighting
  • Johnathan Rudd – Brown Belt – second in weapons and second in kata
  • Luna Raines – beginner – third in kata
  • Mason Maddox – beginner – third in kata and first in fighting
  • CR Grant – Blue belt – third in kata and third in fighting
  • Brianna Walker – brown belt – third in kata
  • Nicholas Sanders – yellow belt – third in kata
  • Eli Rudd – beginner – third in kata
  • Drew Marcotte – yellow belt – first in kata and third in fighting
  • Michael Bowman – beginner – second in fighting
  • EJ Mims – beginner – fourth in fighting

For more information on the South Alabama Karate Open, instruction in Isshinryu Karate, and Jiu Jitsu, call or text Mark Rudd at 334-488-3104.