Martial arts expo benefits children's center

The competition was intense at Martial Arts Expo III, held Saturday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. The semi-annual event is a fundraiser for local charities, with many martial arts schools from Carson Valley and Carson City participating. At the event, hosted by Douglas County Parks & Recreation Department, High Desert Martial Arts and Sierra Dojo, $500 was raised for the Carson Valley Children's Center (Austin's House).

The honor guard and presentation of the flag was held by Boy Scout Troop 495, who also donated money raised from their food sales to the Carson Valley Children's Center.

Each competitor was introduced, then they bowed to the judges and asked permission to begin. They went through their moves, bowed again and received their scores. Sometimes they talked to the judges following their demonstrations.

"The judges are blackbelts as well as competitors," said scorekeeper Jen Motti. "They are getting feedback on why they judged them the way they did."

Competitions in kata (forms) were held first, where each competitor demonstrates their balance, focus, power, spirit and understanding of the techniques of their martial arts system. A panel of five judges rated the competitors on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

Participants were of all ages and levels.

Motti's 13-year-old daughter Megan just joined Sierra Dojo this year.

"We're new to the whole karate scene," said Motti. "She's so new she hasn't passed her tests yet, and can't compete. She loves it. It's become her new passion."

Taylor Rodriguez, who belongs to Carson Valley Adaptive Martial Arts, took third place in intermediate kata and competed in sparring. She said she has been taking martial arts for six years.

Demonstrations were presented by several area master instructors, including Craig Black and Mike Bern (kempo jujitsu); Glenn Ristine (Kyusho Jitsu); Diane Ortenzio-Cooling (Isshin-Ryu Kobudo); and Toby Cooling (pain/leverage compliance).

Other instructors who did not demonstrate, came to help however they could.

"I'm here to help with the tournament. It's a great cause," said Ross Briggs, who has been teaching martial arts for 42 years, currently at Goju Shorei Dojo in Reno.

Children gathered around the Carson Valley Children's Center mascot, Casey the Crocodile, who was dressed in a martial arts robe. The children's center will be a safe haven for children in need. It is currently under construction in Sunridge.

Sage Bouché, 5, said she couldn't participate in demonstrations today since she does a different type of martial arts, Tai Kwon Do.

"I came with my friends to watch other friends," she said.

Sparring competitions followed, with point matches by age and skill level. Each competitor had to tag their opponent in a vulnerable area with a competent hand strike or kick to gain a point, with the first one to reach 3 points being declared the winner. The finale was the most popular event of the day: team sparring. All competitors were divided into two teams, who were pitted against each other. The Other Cheetahs team beat the Bandits team, 6-4.

"The Expo is basically like the Goodwill Games, where our schools can get together, compete, and learn from each other," said organizer Diane Ortenzio-Cooling. "There aren't many local events for martial arts students, and most definitely none that are this affordable. Plus, the students get to see the master instructors in action. That's something they all look forward to."

The organizers are working to expand the expo, and will be adding more events for the next one on Nov. 10. To be put on the mailing list or to volunteer, call 782-1127.

Saturday's results by division:

Kata (Forms)

Basics, ages 7-9: 1st place, Alixandria Jones

Unfinished kata, ages 7-9: 1st, Alex Harker. 2nd, Matt McTee

Unfinished kata, ages 10-12: 1st, Isaiah Russell

Beginners kata, ages 7-9: 1st, McCann Patterson

Beginners kata, ages 10-12: 1st, Angela Lockman

Intermediate kata, ages 12-16: 1st, Bridget Lockman; 2nd, Mike Simpson; 3rd, Taylor Rodriguez

Advanced kata, ages 10-12: 1st, Holly Kerrigan

Advanced kata, ages 13-19: 1st, Andrew Cobourn; 2nd, Chris Duarte; 3rd, Kevin Duarte

Advanced kata, ages 20 & over: 1st, Charles Duarte; 2nd, Michael Neilon;

Black Belt Kata, ages 20 & over: 1st, Mike Bern; 2nd, Tom Sanson; 3rd, Mark Stallings; 4th, Calvin Hawkins.

Black Belt Kata, instructors' division: 1st, Tom Sanson; 2nd, Alexander Dolinin; 3rd, Glenn Ristine.


Capture the Flag, ages 7-12: 1st, Isaiah Russell; 2nd, Alex Harker; 3rd, Matt McTee; 4th, Tyler Lee White; 5th, Alix Jones

Beginners, ages 7-9: 1st, McCann Patterson

Beginners, ages 10-12: 1st, Rebecca Mattox; 2nd, Taylor Rodriguez; 3rd, Alex Lockman

Beginners, ages 13-19: 1st, Steve Castro; 2nd, Brandon Bishop-Souza; 3rd, Richard Rehbein

Advanced, ages 10-12: 1st, Holly Kerrigan

Advanced, ages 13-19: 1st, Chris Duarte; 2nd, Kevin Duarte; 3rd, Andrew Cobourn; 4th, Mike Simpson.

Advanced, ages 20 & over: 1st, Richard Lee; 2nd, Ryan Handshah; 3rd, Jared Nau; 4th, Mike Neilon; 5th, Charles Duarte


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