Chicago's Hyatt on Wacker hosted for the second time, the 47th AKA Grand Nationals this weekend. This highly respected martial arts tournament offers karate, kung fu, tae kwon do and various other styles the opportunity to compete. What is amazing about martial arts tournaments is that all levels and ages group compete in the same event. This co-competitive spirit is a reflection of the mentoring aspects predominant in the martial arts community. Each rank supports the one above and below by standing side lines to cheer. Professional adult black belts will compete while tweens and teens are also focused on a 6-foot first place trophy. Martial arts as a hobby and a sport demonstrates so many worthwhile qualities that are tangible- kindness, patience, support and humility. Here are some of the young champions.
Jessica Goldman is another accomplished young black belt. She is from 100 Percent Martial Arts in Princeton, NJ.
Mickey Lee is from Sun and Moon Taiji in DC. His style is is predominantly Chen Taiji with sprinklings of Yang Taiji and kicks from Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do.
Phil Hohensee is an 11 year old purple belt from Karate America in Wsconsin. This was his second tournament.
Adriana Noonen comes from Florida Sports Martial Arts Academy. She is a 2nd degree black belt. Here is her form in the youth black belt musical forms division. Her instructor is Mark Canonizado.
Hartie Spence comes from Lafayette, LA. She is 16 years old and is a 2nd degree black belt from Elite Martial Arts in Atlanta. Her coach is Kalman Csoka.