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February 28, 2011


This year's WKA North American Combat Sports Championships saw yet another evolution in their eleven-year history. The turnout proved that with the improvements constantly being made to this event, teams and competitors are recognizing the WKA tournament for the top-notch event that it is and helping to grow its success. Over three hundred competitors from just short of seventy gyms made for an excellent turnout in both the Novice and Open Class divisions. Novice fighters have long competed in the WKA Championships in order to test themselves against the best while still fighting others of their own experience level. Novice divisions were packed, and the fights were fantastic--even the preliminary fights were notable. Fighters were so skilled that many a fight went to a close decision. The Open Class, likewise, had a great turnout--divisions were fuller than we have seen them yet. The best amateur fighters in North America turned up to showcase their skills against fighters from other regions they had not previously had the opportunity to match against.

Competitors were also pleased with the smooth running of the tournament. With multiple check-in lines and four scales, sponsored by Detecto Scales, competitors were checked in quickly, weighed in quickly, and then immediately off for food and rehydration. The tournament itself ran well also, in part due to our proud partnership with the Hampton Sports Festival. We were able to finish up the preliminaries at a good time on Saturday to allow semi-finalists and finalists some time to rest and recup. On Sunday, the final matches were run even more efficiently than Saturday's bouts, and the tournament proceeded at a great pace. Rob Kaman, former WKA World Champion and Dutch Muay Thai VIP, added extra prestige handing out belts to the Open Class winners. No champion could fail to want that photograph!

Finally, with medical staff abounding, covering easily all three rings and the cage, this event was the safest we could make a combative sports tournament. There were very few injuries, and all competitors were taken care of. All in all, with the addition of new divisions of Original WKA Rules (K-1 style), Full Contact, and the reintroduction of BJJ/Submission Grappling, we feel that we have had the best tournament to date. We look forward now to selecting and putting together the US National Team, which will be traveling to Karlsruhe, Germany at the end of August. Based on the quality of the competition last weekend, we know that our team will be unable to do anything but shine at Worlds!

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