2011 Sport Karate World Games
_Sacramento, Ca.; Over the week between Christmas and New Year’s, Sean Connor, Ejuah Adam and myself embarked on a cross country journey to the west coast for the Sport Karate World Games. Along the way we decided to do a lot of sight seeing. It was Sean’s second, but Ejuah’s first trip, so we planned to hit as many national landmarks as we could on our little adventure. We left New York and made our first stop in St. Louis, then off to OKC. The boys spent time in the Grand Canyon and the Giant Cactus Forests. Then we drove through the Mojave Desert all the way up the California coast until we reached the Double Tree Hotel.
After arriving, we weren’t sure what was longer, the drive out or the registration line for the boys to weigh-in. Well, regardless, we made it! The event was large, with competitors from all over the world. Sean’s first day of competition was in the Point Sparring division. Coming into the wild card round, Sean had an unfortunate disqualification in a match he was dominating. He was still able to eliminate his opponent and fight through a couple more rounds before losing a close match at the buzzer, settling for a top eight finish.
The next day we had off so we took a trek north to see Eureka Beach, The Pacific Ocean and the Giant Redwood Forests. Along the way, we managed to see more incredible U.S. scenery, a huge herd of Caribou and even a “Sasquatch”.
The next day of competition was Sean’s Continuous Sparring Division. Sean was able to use his incredible endurance and strong kickboxing experience to crush through most of his matches to land into the semi-finals. But, in the end, he fell short, losing a very controversial match to the eventual division winner to land him a third place finish.
Our next day off, we made a short jaunt over to San Fran to see the city (blah), Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. The city was a bust, but we enjoyed the other two J
On the final day of competition, we entered into the Amateur Internationals for Ejuah’s sparring division. Being his first time at the “Games”, we decided not to use Ejuah’s top seed and enter him as a wildcard. This would give him a chance to test himself at this level. Ejuah had been undefeated in competition since September of 2010, winning all the National qualifiers as well as all the conference tournaments. Ejuah was able to win all his matches through the wildcard round but also ended up losing to the fighter that took first place. Ejuah ended up placing 8th out of 15, but gave the winner the best fight in the top eight, so he didn’t leave too disappointed.
After his division ended, we hit the road taking the Northern route back through Salt lake City, The Rockies, into the Mile High City eventually stopping in Kansas to visit one of our original Black Belts, Amy (Radaker) Hillman and family. After a bfief visit, dinner and a movie, we were back on the road making our way back to sunny New York (lol)…