Martial Arts Classic packs house, crowns champions

Wednesday, July 9, 2003
Don't mess with these two women! Eureka's Carol Stanley, left, practiced her weapons moves under the watchful eye of fellow martial artist Jodie VanDerwall, then went out and earned a First Place in weapons and a second in forms at the 3rd Annual Eureka Springs Martial Arts Classic tournament, held on Saturday, June 28. VanDerwall took firsts in sparing and forms, and a second in weapons. CCN/David McNeal

EUREKA SPRINGS ---- The standing-room-only event at the Victoria Inn and Convention Center on Saturday, June 28, was the 3rd Annual Eureka Springs Martial Arts Classic tournament, hosted by Groves Karate Studio of Holiday Island.

This tournament was sanctioned by three circuits ---- The American Karate Association, based in Momence, Illinois with a member base of approximately 1,000; The International Martial Arts Council of America, based in Fayetteville and encompassing several schools in the northwest Arkansas area; and the Southwest Association of Tournaments, based in Neosho, Mo., with member schools spread throughout the state of Missouri and Holiday Island.

Competitors attended from Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Florida, Texas and Arkansas. Shihon John Sharkey, Jr., President of the American Karate Association, and Sensei Jack Groves, instructor, coordinated the tournament, and were assisted by Master Julio Ortiz of Chicago, Illinois.

The top musical demo team of the day was a national award-winning team from Martial Arts of Springdale taekwondo school.


The Grand Championship award is presented to the top performer in each division, determined by five judges. In order to qualify for the Grand Championship, each contestant must have placed first in their division throughout the day.

A seven-foot permanent trophy for this tournament was established listing each of the four Grand Championship winners from the last two years on brass nameplates.

This year's winners that will be added to the trophy were:

Grand Champion/Black Belt Forms- Out of seven contenders, the championship was won by Chris Brewster from Naperville, Ill.

Grand Champion/Black Belt Weapons- Out of four contenders, the championship was won by Craig Henningsen of Naperville, Ill.

Grand Champion/Underbelt Forms- Out of 22 contenders, the championship was won by Danielle Knopp of Montgomery, Ill.

Grand Champion/Underbelt Weapons- Out of seven contenders, the championship was won by Tabitha Reinhardt from Broken Arrow, Okla.


Carol Stanley- 1st/Weapons, 2nd/Forms; Jodie VanDerwall- 2nd/Weapons, 1st/Sparring, 1st/Forms; Deborah Haven- 1st/Weapons, 1st/Forms; Tim Watson- 1st/Weapons, 1st/Forms, 3rd/Sparring; Paul Vaughn- 7th/Weapons, 2nd/Forms.

Jeren Schmidt- 3rd/Weapons, 2nd/Forms, 4th/Sparring; Andrew Aukerman- 2nd/Weapons, 1st/Forms; Adam Aukerman- 4th/Weapons, 3rd/Musical Weapons, 4th/Forms, 1st/Sparring; Patrick Crouch- 1st/Weapons, 4th/Musical Weapons, 1st/Forms, 2nd/Sparring.

Greg Watson- 3rd/Weapons, 1st/Musical Weapons, 2nd/Forms; Brandon Scott- 2nd/Musical Weapons, 2nd/Weapons, 5th/Forms; Harroll Rushing- 1st/Forms; Matthew Sharp- 7th/Forms; Alex Freeman- 11th/Forms; Joshua Sharp- 2nd/Forms; Morgan Drebenstedt- 1st/Forms; Nathan Drebenstedt- 1st/Forms; Chase Vaughn- 8th/Forms; Kristy Maddox- 1st/Forms


A couple of interesting points about this tournament:

1- Nine of the 22 students in Grand Champion/Underbelt Forms are students of Groves Karate Studio, and are ranked in the top 2/3 of the 22 Grand Champion scores.

2- 12 of the 22 Grand Champion/Underbelt Forms contenders study Shorei-Ryu-style karate in Bentonville, Holiday Island and the Chicago suburbs.

3- During the early 20th century a system of self-defense known as "Okinawa-te" was developed on the island of Okinawa. This means "hand techniques of Okinawa"

Traveling sailors and merchants brought the fighting techniques of their homelands to Okinawa. These techniques blended with the first techniques of Okinawa to later be known as the most powerful self-defense system in the world.


Planning has already begun for the 4th Annual Eureka Springs Martial Arts Classic tournament, to be held on Saturday, June 26, 2004, again at the Victoria Inn & Convention Center.

Groves Karate Studio will again host the event, and is located at 3 A Parkwood Drive in Holiday Island, Ark. If you wish to be placed on the mailing list, Jack or Linda Groves will give you information at (479) 253-0448.

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