HOULTON — Competitors from throughout Maine and several from Canada took part in the Graves’ 20th Summer Kick-off Karate and Ju-Jitsu Tournament last weekend at Houlton High School
Participants competed in point sparring, Ju-Jitsu and grappling, form kata, weapons kata, and power impactor events. To assure fairness all groups were set up according to age, sex, height, and weight, and by colored belt level, which indicates experience level.
Martial arts practitioners entering the various events ranged from ages 4-66.
Some of the black belts martial arts practitioners punching, kicking and throwing their way to awards included: Sensei Jerod Kingsbury and partner Sensei Jay Peavey of Mars Hill who each received a grand championship for their outstanding Ju-Jitsu routine. Sensei Peavey then performed the unusual feat of fighting his way through the light, middle and heavyweight black belt sparring division winners to earn a second grand championship in point sparring.
Sensei Paul Healey, a student of Giles Institute of Self Defense in Bangor, a branch of Tracy’s Ketsugo and Karate in Ellsworth, won the grand championship for Senior black belt fighting.
Sensei Jennifer Pictou, a third degree black belt from the Presque Isle branch of Graves’, battled her way to the women’s black belt fighting grand championship. Pictou then went on to win the women’s black belt power impactor event.
More than 150 trophies and medals were awarded throughout the day’s competition which often saw half a dozen rings in action at the same time with karate and ju-jitsu students vying for awards. More than 40 black belt instructors served as head judges and ring referees to keep matches running smoothly, fairly, and safely over the 4- to 5-hour tournament. Family and friends filled the stands to cheer on the competitors and watch the fast and furious action.
Regional Aroostook businesses (York’s of Houlton, Sargent and Tweedie’s Trucking of Mars Hill, TD Bank, attorney Patrick Hunt of Island Falls, Burtchell Transport of Mars Hill, Richardson’s Hardware, Mars Hill IGA, and County Super Spuds) donated huge three tier grand championship trophies for several black belt divisions.