Caio DaSilva at the US Open performing a Shotokan Kata

Word's largest open martial arts tournament moves to December amid COVID-19 concerns.

The U.S. Open World Martial Arts Championships is an International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) and North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA) sanctioned event that has developed a reputation as one of the largest and most prestigious martial arts tournaments in the world. Their classic "Night of Champions" is broadcast on ESPN2 and provides sport karate with more exposure than any other event. Like many other world-rated events, the U.S. Open has decided to postpone their event to later this year.

The event will now take place on December 18th and 19th, 2020 and will still be held at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida. Competitors and spectators that have already registered for the event will have their registrations automatically transferred to the new dates.

In recent years, the U.S. Open had started a trend of running some team divisions, such as synchronized forms and team demonstration, on Thursday in order to make the Friday-Saturday schedule run more smoothly for competitors. However, the date change may result in all divisions being completed on Friday and Saturday.

The promoters recommend that those expecting to attend the event book their hotel rooms soon because Disney resorts typically book their rooms far in advance for the holiday season. The U.S. Open is accustomed to hosting their event near holidays, as the event has historically been held around Independence Day.

It is uncertain how long society will be experiencing the direct effects of the COVID-19 pandemic ranging from mask-wearing to physical distancing. Therefore it is difficult to anticipate what sport karate tournaments will look like, but one thing is for sure: the U.S. Open is going to bring the martial arts community a world-class event.

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