sport karate

I can't remember the day I was handed my first pair of nunchaku, but looking back 19 years later I know we were meant to find each other.

However, I do remember they were made by two older brothers (who were students at the studio) from a thin piece of PVC pipe and small thin rope from Home Depot. They were covered in dark blue chrome (which was my favorite color back then). To this day, I still keep them as a reminder of how far I've come from that point in time. I have gone from using homemade nunchaku and representing the studio's competition team, competing at local tournaments, to representing the most prestigious competitive martial arts team in the world (Team Paul Mitchell). I had the honor of being Matt Emig's (in my opinion, undoubtedly the best nunchaku practitioner there is) first private student. Without his inspiration, I wouldn't be the same "chucker" I am today. Pridefully, throughout years and years competing on the NASKA (North American Sport Karate Association) circuit, I have become one of the most renowned female martial arts competitors. I've earned numerous world champion titles, set records, and have become a coach to students all over the country. I inspire numerous girls to compete in sport karate and to have confidence in their ability to use nunchaku.

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Competitive Edge has added two names to the roster for their competition team.

Both of these competitors already had a relationship to the team as family members of other team members.

Esteban Tremblay's father Eric Tremblay from Blainville, Quebec, Canada joins Competitive Edge as one of the most decorated competitors in NASKA's senior division. Eric, 41, has been training in the martial arts for 31 years and is a 6th degree blackbelt and school owner. He also holds 53 world titles across NASKA, NBL, WKA, WKU, WKC and is a 3-time Diamond Nationals Diamond Ring Champion. Eric brings a level of competitive professionalism that is going to be a great asset to the team.

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Jessie Wray brought back the Virtual Fight Tour for a seventh promotion, complete with a competitive lineup of point fighting matches.

Virtual Fight Tour VII was headlined by a team fight between the rising superstars of Team Next Level and Team All Stars, but that was far from the only excitement in the sport karate promotion hosted by Uventex TV. The card also had an heavily anticipated matchup between nationally-known fighters Chance Turner and Anthony Merricks in the Co-Main Event, and several other well-contested bouts throughout the card. There was also a pair of special performances by forms and weapons world champions Julia Plawker and Shaquan Parson, who both represent Team Next Level and put on a great show. Keep reading for complete results and analysis for every clash at Virtual Fight Tour VII!

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A Champion's Push for Equality and Opportunity & the Female Athletes Fund

Why do women competitors earn less grand champion money than men?

Maggie Messina often asked herself this question as she competed in the 80's and 90's, her division squished into the gym corner between the bleachers and bathroom. Women pay the same registration fee to compete and sacrifice the same amount of time and sweat during training. And yet, they don't garner the same respect as the male competitors who are honored to compete on the center stage, elevated above their female counterparts by cash winnings that offer twice as much reward for their hard work.

Messina went on to win several world championships across multiple sport karate circuits (including KRANE, WKC, ISKA, NASKA...) but put her competition life on hold when she opened Taecole Taekwondo in Albertson, New York. After establishing Taecole in her community, Messina returned to national and international sport karate competitions in 2014 as a competitor herself and to coach her own student athletes.

Society's attitude toward women has come a long way since the 90's, and Messina was shocked to see inequitable practices that were still held up in sport karate events. The most glaring issue being that female competitors often earn less than half of what male competitors earn as a grand champion. Every competitor participating in an event should be valued equally, and it is the responsibility of event coordinators to make them feel special and important no matter their differences. This just didn't seem to be happening yet.

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