Western Wyoming Karate Championships hosted by Pineda's Kenpo Karate

The 42nd Annual Western Wyoming Karate Championships were hosted by Pineda's Kenpo Karate at the Green River Recreation Center on May 13, 2023. The championships hosted 183 competitors from Wyoming, Utah, Montana, and Colorado. Competition included forms, weapons, self-defense, sparring, flag sparring, padded sword sparring, and board breaking. Several grand champions were awarded in both black belt and under belt categories; each receiving a samurai sword and a grand champion tournament hoodie.

Adult Black Belt Grand Champions:

Laurie Healy (All Star Karate, Utah) - BLACK BELT WOMEN'S ALL AROUND GRAND CHAMPION and ADULT BLACK BELT CREATIVE FORMS GRAND CHAMPION; Kekoa Perbera (Frenchtown Viking Martial Arts-Montana) - ADULT BLACK BELT TRADITIONAL FORMS GRAND CHAMPION; Christopher Devaney (WadoRyu-Utah) - SENIOR BLACK BELT TRADITIONAL FORMS GRAND CHAMPION; Jonathan McPherson (Azure Dragon Martial Arts-Utah) - SENIOR MEN'S BLACK BELT SPARRING GRAND CHAMPION; Michael Jarmond (Kicking for Life- Colorado) - ADULT BLACK BELT SPARRING GRAND CHAMPION

Junior Black Belt Grand Champions:

Kaeden Showalter (Evolutionary MA-Utah) - JR BLACK BELT ALL AROUND GRAND CHAMPION and JR BLACK BELT TRADITIONAL FORMS GRAND CHAMPION; Bryan Jahrsdoerfer (All Star Karate-Utah) - JR BLACK BELT CREATIVE FORMS GRAND CHAMPION

Under Belt Grand Champions

based on Cumulative Points

(4 way tie 12 & Under)

Taia Fuga (All Star Karate-Utah) - UNDERBELT 12 & UNDER ALL AROUND GRAND CHAMPION; Easton Nowotny (Evolutionary MA-Utah) - UNDERBELT 12 & UNDER ALL AROUND GRAND CHAMPION; Logan Wiser (Evolutionary MA-Utah) - UNDERBELT 12 & UNDER ALL AROUND GRAND CHAMPION; Emery Friel (Pineda's Kenpo-GR) - UNDERBELT 12 & UNDER ALL AROUND GRAND CHAMPION; Madison Kitterman (All Star Karate-Utah) - UNDERBELT 13-17 ALL AROUND GRAND CHAMPION; Strat Friel (Pineda's Kenpo-GR) - UNDERBELT ADULT ALL AROUND GROUND CHAMPION

Grand Champion highlights for Team Pineda were Emery Friel earning the 12 and Under Underbelt All-Around Grand Champion, and Strat Friel earning the Adult Underbelt All-Around Grand Champion. Competitors' cumulative points were earned by placing in forms, weapons, self-defense, and sparring.

Team Pineda fielded twenty-two competitors from all skill levels competing in an average of five divisions each. Adult team members were strongly competitive in each of their divisions. Black Belt Gary Dean placed 2nd in the BB Men's 35+ Sparring Division. In the intermediate ranks, Austin Collar swept sparring, forms, and weapons with three 1st place, Josh Finley performed strongly with top 2 finishes in five divisions, and Ron Rice won 1st place in creative weapons with a cane set. In the beginner ranks, Cristy Pelham had strong performances in four divisions, and Strat Friel had an outstanding day in each of his divisions. Intermediate Jesse Kniep had outstanding performances in the 13-14 age divisions. Jesse Kniep had outstanding performances in the 13-14 age divisions. In the beginner ranks, Cristy Pelham had strong performances in four divisions, and Strat Friel had an outstanding day in each of his divisions. Intermediate Jesse Kniep had outstanding performances in the 13-14 age divisions.

The tournament offers divisions specifically for first-time competitors. Lily Campbell, Laken Jewkes, Karly Marshall, Mickey Mullaney, Ayzleigh Ray, Constance Rodriguez, Creedyn Rodriguez, Anthony St. John, and Johnathan Warner participated as first-time competitors in addition to flag sparring, padded sword sparring, and board breaking.

Beginning team members Acadia Brandt, Aiden Brandt, Carter Corthell, Emery Friel, and Evan St. John had strong performances in their divisions. Andy Jarvis of Rock Springs Tae Kwon Do Club won first in her forms division.

The championships are a great success thanks to Pineda's team members, their families, and friends who volunteer as coordinators, scorekeepers, and judges, year after year. It would not be possible without these generous volunteers.

 

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