Graves’ martial arts tourney returns to MH
MARS HILL, Maine — Aroostook County’s oldest and the only karate karate and ju-jitsu tournament celebrates its 25th anniversary this month.
On Saturday, June 18, 2016 martial artists representing several styles and traveling from throughout New England and Canada will meet at the Central Aroostook Junior-Senior High School gymnasium to compete in Graves’ Summer Kick-Off Karate and Ju-Jitsu tournament.
Students and instructors from the eight regional Graves Ketsugo dojos will serve as hosts for this competition, one of only seven through the entire state each year, three of which are put on by the Maine Ketsugo and Karate Association to which Graves Institute of Self Defense belongs. Getting underway at 10 a.m. and continuing through mid-afternoon, eight rings will be active with fighting and throwing events.
Martial arts students ranging from 5 years old to over 60 years old will vie their skills in bouts of point sparring, form kata, weapons kata, ju-jitsu throwing and falling and power impactor events. To assure fairness and top-rate competition divisions will be set up by age, gender, height, weight and skill levels, which is determined by belt colors and stripes.
Over 200 trophies and 100 medals will be awarded throughout the five-hour event to the top three winners in dozens of divisions.
In addition to regular underbelt matches, top black belt fighters and throwers have the opportunity to compete for several huge grand championship awards. The final winners in each highly contested event will take home a much coveted, multi-tiered ornately decorated 4-1/2 foot tall trophy. These beautiful awards are sponsored by local businesses, without whose support these terrific trophies would not be available.
The tourney features the largest grand championship trophies in the entire state. Categories include men’s fighting, women’s fighting, senior men’s fighting, Ju-Jitsu team throwing, form kata and weapons kata.
Doors at gym will open at 9 a.m. for competitors and at 9:30 a.m. for spectators. Tournament events begin at 10:30 a.m. with a head judge and four referees, all experienced black belts, overseeing each ring and the many matches throughout the day. For those who have never experienced a martial arts tournament, it’s a thrilling spectacle and all are welcome to attend. Black belt events are truly impressive and yet the chance to watch the younger students fight and throw draws a lot of attention and applause.
Concessions will be available on site throughout the day.
Check Graves Institute of Self Defense on Facebook for photos, videos and pre-tourney information or for more information, call Grandmaster Bill Graves at 207-551-5777.