A noted tournament competitor and training partner of full-contact karate legend Bill Wallace, Keeney was ranked number 4 in Black Belt's 1972 tournament fighter ratings. But it was as a promoter and organizer Keeney most made his mark. He staged some of the most prestigious karate tournaments in the country including the USKA Grand Nationals, the Top Ten Nationals and the PKC Nationals. An instrumental figure in the early days of kickboxing, Keeney was an official with the Professional Karate Association and promoted Wallace's retirement fight, televised on CBS in 1980. Among his students was PKA heavyweight champion Ross Scott. With the gradual demise of the PKA, he would go on to help found the Professional Karate Commission in 1986, which became a sanctioning body for both kickboxing and point karate tournaments.
Egypt proved themselves a force to be reckoned with in women's kumite as they claimed the team title with a 2-1 win over France in the finals. The Egyptians also lead the way in the para-karate finals on Sunday taking three gold medals there.
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Fellow Tokyo gold medalist, Spain's Sandra Sanchez, also claimed gold in women's kata. France's Steven Dacosta, who won kumite gold in Tokyo, turned in the most impressive fighting performance of the day capturing the men's 67 kg division sending his opponent, North Macedonia's Emil Pavlov, flying from the ring with a sidekick. Moments later he scored on a sweep/punch combination and then another sweep and punch to seal the victory.
Other winners in men's kumite included Douglas Brose 60 kg, Dastonbek Otabolaev 75 kg, Youssef Badawy 84 kg and Gogita Arkania 84+kg. Women's kumite winners included Miho Miyahara 50 kg, Ahlam Youssef 55 kg, Jovana Preković 61 kg, Irina Zaretska 68 kg and María Torres 68+ kg. American medalists were Trinity Allen who won silver in the women's 55 kg division and Thomas Scott who took bronze in the men's 75 kg class.
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This was just forwarded to me by my friend and colleague Keith Chu, President of Nanka (the SoCal Judo Consortium):
Judo Canada announces a partnership with Nanka Judo Yudanshakai, the organization that manages and organizes grassroots judo in Southern California, with the objective of providing optimal preparation for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics to athletes from both organizations.
Keith Chu, President of Nanka Judo Yudanshakai, Nicolas Gill, CEO and High Performance Director of Judo Canada, and Mike Tamura, President of Judo Canada.
The year 2028 may seem far away, but Nicolas Gill says he is not too far-sighted. In fact, he says he is more in catch-up mode.
"When you are a contact sport organization and that has lived through a pandemic, 2028 is not far at all," says the CEO and High Performance Director of Judo Canada. "Around 400 clubs have been shut down for over a year and it is in the context of rebuilding and restarting that we are making this deal"
The two-time Olympic medalist is keen to prevent the next generation of athletes from being sacrificed, those who did not have the same accommodations as the top athletes preparing for the Tokyo Games. The inability to participate in competitions and sometimes even simply to train are factors that may have pushed some promising judokas towards the exit door.
"These athletes are currently between 16 and 20 years old and have suffered tremendously from the restrictions surrounding COVID-19. The starting point of this agreement is the need to support as best we can this generation of athletes with the obvious objective of bringing as many as possible to the 2028 Games. We hope that we will stimulate this age group by creating higher level opportunities for them."
"With the 2028 Olympics six years away and being held in our backyard, Nanka Judo recognizes a need to create grassroots initiatives that will help our young judo athletes as they progress towards potentially competing in those Olympic Games." said Keith Chu, President of Nanka Judo Yudanshakai. "Cooperation and grassroots coordination with Judo Canada will serve as a focus for us to provide opportunities that can mutually benefit both Southern Californian and Canadian judokas. We are very excited to get started working with Nicolas and his team."
Judo Canada and Nanka Judo have the common objective of developing judokas who will participate in the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028. Young Canadian and Californian judokas will notably be able to take part in camps organized jointly by the two organizations in California and at the Montreal National Training Centre.
"In a sport like judo, the quality of the training partners is paramount. Canada and the United States don't have huge pools of athletes, so we need to optimize our choices, be creative, and look for solutions everywhere. This project is one of several initiatives."
The partnership between Judo Canada and Nanka Judo will go beyond top-level sport by training law enforcement officials, a subject close to the hearts of both organizations. It will naturally include, training camps, technical clinics, collaborations in the preparation of athletes and during their competitions, as well as joint support in the final phase leading to the 2028 Games.
"For each partnership, it has to be a win-win. We will be mutually very happy if a Canadian and a Californian who have been part of this project meet at the Los Angeles Games," concluded the medalist from the Barcelona and Sydney Games.
This relationship opens the door of cooperation between two leading judo organizations in North America. Nanka with its rich history going back to the 1930's when Jigoro Kano personally recognized Nanka as a representative body tied to the Kodokan. Judo Canada recently took home two bronze medals in Tokyo.
In Other News…
Black Belt Magazine Launches New Streaming Channel on Jungo Plus
Black Belt TV Features Iconic Action Films from Bruce Lee to Donnie Yen, Live Event Coverage, and Original Programming with Legends and Rising Stars in the Industry.
Los Angeles, California (Nov. 15, 2021) – Global streaming media company JungoTV announced their partnership with Black Belt Magazine to launch Black Belt Magazine TV via Jungo Plus, a direct-to-consumer streaming video app delivering free, ad-supported live TV and video on demand content.
Black Belt Magazine TV is the new globally distributed digital channel that features the top masters, champions, influencers and movie stars in the martial arts. The channel features instruction, competition from around the world, exclusive original interviews with the biggest names and the biggest collection of top martial arts movies starring Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan, Cynthia Rothrock, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sammo Hung, Jet Li, Sho Kousgi and more.
The channel's programs include Jungo originals "The Masters Way" featuring interviews with the top masters like Ernie Reyes, Tayari Casel, Cynthia Rothrock and Oliver Grunier conducted by former NFL All-Pro Tony Parrish, "Mano a Mano" a one on one bio series with the legends that include such names as Dan Inosantos, Royce Gracie and Mike Chat. "The Combat Show" interviews and deep dive with the biggest stars like Michael Jai White, Bill Wallace and Billy Blanks plus up programming of world champions like Morgan Plowden, Jackson Rudolph and Gabrille Dunn.
Original signature series also features, "Black Belt Theater," hosted by the "Queen of Martial Arts" Cynthia Rothrock and features the biggest martial arts films including Bruce Lee's "Chinese Connection" and "Way of the Dragon" plus dozens of major titles like "Enter the Ninja," "Silent Rage," "American Samurai," "No Retreat No Surrender" and "Dragon Fist."
JungoTV CEO, George Chung said "As a lifetime martial arts practitioner and enthusiast it is an honor to partner with Black Belt to launch this very important channel for martial artists everywhere. This marks an era of digital convergence with Black Belt Magazine and Jungo.
Our goal is to bring our channel to the over 1.2 billion consumers we reach across the globe on mobile, web, connected devices and smart TV brands everywhere. We are excited to be able to deliver a platform that will showcase the skills of the next generation of martial arts superstars as well as amplify the deep and rich styles as systems of fighting Arts from around the world"
Black Belt Magazine Links:
Editor-in-Chief of Black Belt, Robert W. Young said, "We are thrilled to announce our partnership with JungoTV and George Chung. Coupling JungoTV's technical knowledge and experience in the entertainment industry with Black Belt's 60 years of leadership in martial arts journalism will guarantee that fans of the fighting arts and the action genre in general will have access to the best streaming content on the Black Belt Channel."
About Black Belt Magazine
Published continuously since 1961, Black Belt is the oldest, largest and most-recognized martial arts magazine in North America. The unchallenged leader in martial arts journalism, it offers broad coverage of all aspects of the traditional fighting disciplines that were developed in Asia, as well as the modern eclectic systems that were devised in the West. Black Belt's articles span the entire spectrum of the martial arts: interviews with prominent practitioners, how-to pieces on proven self-defense methods and flashy new techniques, reports on major events, stories about actors and movies, and discourses on the histories, philosophies and strategies of all combat styles. The magazine frequently covers other topics of interest to its readers, including training, nutrition, equipment, legal issues and weaponry.
About JungoTV, LLC
JungoTV is an international streaming media company, delivering ad-supported television and video-on-demand content. The company owns and operates 30 FAST and on-demand channels, covering a wide range of content verticals, including sports, music, and international entertainment. Since its founding in 2016, JungoTV has increased its carriage footprint to 1.2 billion registered devices with over 1 billion monthly views across its networks in North America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia. Key stakeholders are Nasser Kazeminy, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Sandy Climan, Ahmet Calik, William Pope, Robert Priddy, John Sculley, and CEO George Chung.
I'm always looking for new subjects to write about regarding judo as well as contributions from my readers. Please send them to email@example.com,
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