VETERAN Paul Williams of New York Seido stole the show in the Men’s division, while Shakeema Cunningham of Future Leaders Karate emerged Female Grand Champion at the Seido Open International Karate Tournament, sponsored by the Sports Development Foundation of Jamaica (SDF) and McKay Security at UTech on Saturday.
The night belonged to Williams, the who taught the youngsters a thing or two about speed, skill and awesome power. Williams, a many-time Grand Champion, started off slowly and was behind on points in his first fight with lightweight champion Adrian King of Ningen Karate.
Williams, who was the Over-40 champion and the ‘old man’ of karate, had to fight in a three-way roundrobin series against heavyweight champion Kevin McDowell of Sidekick Taekwondo and lightweight champion Adrian King of Ningen Karate.
His task was not easy as the youngsters put him to the test, but as he warmed up, he used his experience and power to defeat his younger opponents.
His first fight with King went into overtime and sudden death, which he won, then his other fight with McDowell was a lesson in fighting as young McDowell had no answer to the punching power of Williams.
McDowell was hurt in his ribs from Williams’ powerful punches and never recovered to unleash his famous kicks. This was the fifth time Williams was taking the Grand Championships in his many visits to Jamaica.
Cunningham emerged the winner after defeating every fighter who stood before her. Having won the Grand Championship four consecutive years, she easily repeated her feat, dispatching all before her.
Wolmer’s Boys’ won the high school competition after defeating Jamaica College, Calabar High and the vaunted Kingston College.
Overall, the tournament went well and notably had no incident or injury and was marked by the strong discipline and fair play displayed by the competitors.
Over 350 competitors from all the major martial arts schools participated, as well as overseas fighters from New York.