Martial Arts Competition: Let Me Tell You About Superforms!
A sport karate division in which a competitor has to compete with a random style or weapon
If you never had the opportunity to attend the New England Open when it was part of the NASKA world tour, that means you didn’t get to witness one of the most fun divisions that ever existed in sport karate. Mr. G, aka Joe Greenhalgh, had the brilliant idea to design a division in which competitors would spin a big wheel that was marked with the names of divisions and whichever one you landed on, that was the one in which you had to compete.
There were “normal” divisions like musical forms, extreme forms and so on, but there were also a few surprises like soft-style forms and white-belt forms. There were also divisions like kama, nunchaku and sword, which made it interesting if you happened to be a kama competitor who had never even picked up a nunchaku.
Events featured multiple rounds until the field came down to the last two or three competitors, who then would battle it out on stage the following night. All in all, everyone looked forward to watching those martial artists compete because there was a lot less pressure on them than there was is the conventional NASKA divisions. Mr. G’s new division brought laughter and good memories together.
Looking back, here are my favorite performances from the superforms division.
This first example is weapons routine from Jacob Pinto. At the time, he was known for his kama and double-sword forms. In this video, you can see him use the nunchaku, a weapon that took him out of his element.
Another reason I selected this form is it’s fun. As he goes through the nunchaku form, Jacob Pinto engages the crowd by talking and even gets the audience to laugh when he says, “Ow, I hit my head!” It was definitely an entertaining form to watch in person.
This video is from the same year. In fact, it is from the final round involving Jackson Rudolph (in the video), Jacob Pinto (mentioned above) and me. You can see Jackson Rudolph spin the wheel and almost land on extreme forms — which seemed like what the crowd was hoping.
Jackson Rudolph lands on kama, then surprises everyone with a routine filled with solid strikes and releases — even a triple spin, which had never been done with that weapon. Not surprisingly, he takes the win.
The third video shows Tyler Weaver performing a soft-style form. Tyler Weaver is known for his incredible acrobatics and kama work. Something you may not know about him is that he competed in soft-style weapons a long time ago when he was a junior. Although this form shows more of an extreme spin on soft style, it is still impressive and fun to watch.
Next, we have a form that didn’t even make it past the first move. Zachary Jarvis used to compete on the NASKA circuit representing Mr. G’s Team Straight Up. In this video, we can see Zachary Jarvis impersonating another traditional competitor with just his first stance. I won’t spoil what he does or what happens; you will have to find out yourself by watching.
Last is a video of me. I’ve had so many opportunities to compete in the superforms division — actually, I was one of the first to compete in it back in 2009 when Mr. G introduced it — that I have tons of great memories. They include competing with soft style forms, kama and bo routines, and my signature events like musical forms. One of the greatest memories is from the superforms overalls in which I had to use the tonfa.
Unfortunately, no tonfa were readily available, so I was handed an oar — which was super heavy, as well as a weapon I had never used. Luckily, the oar is similar to the bo, which I had competed with in the past. So I was able to pull off a decent form and wound up winning the overall in superforms.
- Most Dangerous Man in the World: MMA Fighter and Special Forces ... ›
- Canelo Alvarez Named Ring's Fighter of the Year - Black Belt ... ›
- The Top 5 Professional Athletes Who Studied Martial Arts - Black ... ›
- 21 Best Martial Arts Movies From The 21st Century - Black Belt ... ›
- Martial Arts Tournaments: New Year and New Seasons - Black Belt Magazine ›