Students who train under Sensei James Tresca at the Tiger Schulmann's Karate Center in Massapequa chopped, kicked and punched their way to victory at the Challenge of Champions (C.O.C.) event on Saturday, March 20 and Sunday, March 21, held at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. The three areas of competition included woodbreaking, kata, a competition that tests students on ability and preciseness of martial arts forms and kumite, a competition in which students spar against one another for two minutes.
This most recent Challenge of Champions event hosted thousands of martial arts students of all ages to participate in this test of martial arts expertise and took place in front of a sold out crowd.
"The purpose of Challenge of Champions is to encourage martial artists to utilize their skills to the maximum, providing a more demanding situation than everyday karate classes," said Donnalee Corrieri, tournament consultant. "The students are able to observe and interact with other styles of martial arts while building confidence and ability."
Woodbreaking, the newest event added to the C.O.C. just this year, was held on Saturday from 5 - 8:30 p.m. More than 250 students participated and audience members were able to watch four intense competitions going on at once. Winners from Tiger Schulmann's Karate Massapequa in the woodbreaking competition included:
Sempai Shane Strumwasser (first place for 8-9 age group).
Mousa Rabie (first place for the 15-17 age group).
Arthur Clemens (second place for the 18 and up age group).
The Kata form competition was held on Sunday from 10 a.m. - noon. More than 2,000 students participated in 12 separate competitions. Winners from Tiger Schulmann's Karate Massapequa in the Kata competition include:
Matthew Capolongo (first place in the 8-9 age group).
The Kumite (sparring) competition was held from 1-4 p.m. Winners from Tiger Schulmann's Karate Massapequa were:
Richie Losito (second place in the 6-7 age group).
Nicole Carapazza (third place in the 15-17 beginner/intermediate girls group).
Ian Berkman (first place in the 15-17 age group).
Steven Strumwasser (first place in the 35 and up age group).
The Challenge of Champions event was introduced in 1996 as a means for martial artists from the same or different styles to compete against one another in the spirit of skill development and confidence enhancement. The Challenge of Champions has quickly become the largest tournament of its kind in the area with well over 1,200 competitors. The next event is tentatively scheduled for December of 1999.