TCT Martial Arts competition, sponsored by Sensei Brian Pena and West Columbia’s Karate Dojo, draws large crowd – See the list of winners
TCT (The Competitor’s Tour) was held last Friday-thru-Sunday (Oct. 27-29) at the DoubleTree Inn.
The TCT is a Sport Martial Arts series of competitions. The TCT circuit includes Georgia, Virginia, and North and South Carolina. The Columbia event drew a large contingent of parents, families, judges and supporters.
“We sold out the DoubleTree,” said Sensei Brian Pena, owner of the Karate Dojo in West Columbia, the event’s sponsor. “There were 500 competitors. We had 1,000 attend our banquet. It was great and we had a wonderful time.” Last weekend’s event was the last of the year in a series of tournaments that are held throughout the TCT circuit.
“Once a month we take about 20-to-30 kids to compete,” said Pena. “These parents give up their weekends. And the kids work so hard.”
Pena said the competitors learn more than just kicking and punching. “They learn discipline, patience, humility and respect,” he said.
Putting together the event took a lot of planning and coordination. Pena said. Shanoree Phillips, the Dojo’s technology liaison, stayed up until the early morning hours to keep the event organized. For her effort, Pena awarded her with a First Degree (Shodan) Black Belt. It was presented at an emotional ceremony during the competition’s banquet on Saturday night.
Pena, who has been doing it for 30 years. His daughters, Laney and Gabby are competitors. He said he feels like the the training of children in the martial arts is his ministry. “God has blessed me every, single day,” he said. Also at the banquet, Pena read from an address given by president Teddy Roosevelt. It reads in part: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds…”
TCT Championships and Year End Banquet: Winners below:
Of approximately 200 divisions, West Columbia’s Team Dojo won the following 1st Place divisional wins:
1) Gracie Cheatham (7- Traditional Weapons / Novice)
2) Kaiera Floyd (10-13 Traditional Weapons / Intermediate)
(10-11 Point Sparring / Intermediate)
3) Emma Harnett (8-9 Traditional Weapons / Intermediate)
4) Austin Huang (10-13 Traditional Weapons / Advanced)
5) Chad Phillips (35+ Traditional Weapons / Advanced)
6) Tucker Phillips (8-9 Traditional Weapons / Novice)
1) Mackenzie Laskowski (15-17 Point Sparring / Blackbelt)
2) Christian Merchant (18+ Traditional Forms / Blackbelt)
(18+ Point Sparring (Fly) / Blackbelt)
3) Gabby Pena (12-14 Traditional Weapons / Blackbelt)
(12-14 Traditional Forms / Blackbelt)
4) Laney Pena (15-17 Traditional Weapons / Blackbelt)
(15-17 Traditional Forms / Blackbelt)
(16-17 Open Rank Sparring)
BLACKBELT GRAND CHAMPION
1) Laney Pena (17- Blackbelt Traditional Weapons / Forms)