Starting Friday evening and continuing into Sunday it was non-stop action at the 40th annual Ocean State Grand National at the Crowne Plaza hosted by Don and Christine Rodrigues of the Warwick-based …
Starting Friday evening and continuing into Sunday it was non-stop action at the 40th annual Ocean State Grand National at the Crowne Plaza hosted by Don and Christine Rodrigues of the Warwick-based Don Rodrigues Karate Academy.
After a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic, Don said there was a high level of interest from across the country as well as beyond our borders for the competition. He said competitors came from 40 states and eight countries. Overall there was a total of 800 competitors in what Don said was the largest event he’s held in recent years. Additionally, he said the Crowne told him the tournament booked the most rooms for a single event in its history.
Overall, between the Crowne and other venues, more than 600 hotel nights were booked by those turning out for the tournament, Don said.
Competitors didn’t linger to demonstrate their skills Friday evening at three rings before panels of judges. Individual routines lasted two to three minutes that started with bows to each judge and ended in a display of prowess accompanied by shouts, clenched fists and aggressive stances before courteous bows and backing away from the panel.
On an elevated stage, adults, wearing foot and body padding, gloves and helmets fought kicking and punching one another as referees danced between the action to score performances. The walls were lined with competitors as well as teammates and friends and family members yelling encouragement.
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