After having participated in this tournament for the last 20 years I can only say that 2017 was one of the best. D.E Chambers produced this AOK triple A rated event and gave the competitors a first class venue. Westfield High School was without doubt one of the best locations for this Saturday May 13th martial arts showdown. Top competitors in the Texas AOK and other organizations came from all over Texas and crowded in the main gym to get a crack at being the champion this year. A relaxed atmosphere was made possible by great staff and a professional group of judges. Bicycles were given out to Junior Under belt first place champions as trophies. Yes, I said bicycles.
For the last 25 years D.E Chambers has stepped up to the competition plate in the Sparring and Forms division’s. His many victories include the coveted Golden Greek hall of fame honor. Included in his long list of victories are many AOK, NBL and TKO championships tiles. His sons are also un-paralleled in their prowess as fighters mentored by their father’s guidance. Time will only tell what great champions these dedicated children will become.
A secondary event held in the #2 gym was run by the multiple world breaking champion Larry Fields. Larry has also appeared on the Discovery channel being shown catching an arrow in midflight as well as some of the most impressive breaks ever. Larry Fields also won an impressive Specialty division, at this event, with his intense musical weapons and breaking kata. The breaking part of the tournament was captivating.
Competitors in the youth under belt division made up the bulk of the competitors. The action ran in and out of the ring with parents vocalizing their excitement and driving up the intensity level. There were even some dads expressing their feelings with a minor altercation in the ring that ended up with them shaking hands. All in all this was not a boring tournament. Mostly the people in attendance were very polite and well behaved but intense. It was an fun event that left me with a feeling of satisfaction for a great Saturday.
The black belt kata competitors were pulling out their best skills for a shot at the beautiful first place trophies and a chance to win the grand championship. In the end Jersan Kannady won the forms grand championship. There were some of the best Judges and current champions in Texas attending to help make this tournament the best possible. Nelda Adams meticulously documented all the results of this event and is without doubt a dedicated statics commissioner for the AOK.
Sparring was by all accounts the most captivating part of the Houston Internationals and it seemed every ring had its own cadence drawing out the best from competitors. The black belt sparring competition was exciting. Juniors were great with some of the competition unveiling at a professional level. Adult black belt men’s grand champion ended up being a battle between Demetre Chambers and David Chambers with David Chambers walking away with the money and the title of the 2017 Houston Internationals Grand Champion.