Richards, Taylor are 2014 Seido Karate champs
It was a wonderful day for martial arts in Jamaica as the Annual Seido Karate Tournament rocked the auditorium of the Donald Sangster Hall at UTech on Saturday.
Competitors from all the major martial schools were in attendance, Karate, Taekwondo, Kungfu, Kickboxing. Competitors from as young as age three put on displays of skill, timing and power that belied their young ages. The tournament attracted over 350 competitors and the large crowd was thoroughly entertained. Of special interest was the high schools division that always generates intense rivalry.
But the spotlight was on the grand championship bouts as reigning champion Paul Williams of Seido New York returned to defend his title that he fought so hard for last year. But it was not to be, as he was upstaged by the younger, faster Jamaicans, who really put him to the test. And that they did. Williams, a veteran of many tournaments and widely travelled, didn't have it easy this year as the young Jamaicans came gunning for him.
In the finals it was a four-way fight off between heavyweight champion Greagon Taylor of Seido, Donovan Laing, over forty champion, also of Seido, and lightweight champion Delano Francis of Taekwondo.
Laing exacted his revenge on his loss to Williams last year and beat him in a hard-fought battle. Taylor then easily dispatched the young Francis to set up a mouth-watering final with Laing.
It was an epic battle as both fighters were evenly matched, but after two grueling rounds, Taylor eked out a narrow victory. It was no fluke, as Taylor also put on an epic display last year to win the heavyweight division.
Sabrina Richards of Jamaica Taekwondo battled her way to being Female Grand Champion, defeating many times champion Shakeema Cunningham, as well as reigning champion Debra Chin, among others, to grasp the title.
The Seido Annual Karate Tournament is a respected fixture on the martial arts calendar and is known for its strong emphasis on discipline.