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Grand Slam Open Nationals Has Something for Everyone

By Brett Hart Created: May, 2017 - Modified: July, 2021

May 3, 2017 -- The 8th Annual Grand Slam Open Nationals brought in a large crowd to its open-style martial arts tournament in Richmond, Virginia, April 21 and 22. With nearly 500 competitors, ages 2-67, from more than 100 schools, 20 states and three countries, this showcase event gave plenty to see for its 1,300 spectators.

The event, hosted by the Doss family and sponsored by Greatmats, featured a unique night show with unique grand champion awards - belt buckles for adults and gumball machines for fighters.

Taking the honor of bringing the most competitors were: United Family Karate (Canada), The Karate Dojo (Columbia, S.C.) and Floyd Sport Karate (Myrtle Beach, S.C.).

''There was something for everyone,'' said tournament organizer Jeff Doss. ''There were so many amazing teams and schools from small towns competing on a national level. We offered so many divisions, not just for forms or weapons, but also for fighting.''

Wisconsin-based Infinity Martial Arts put together a strong showing in the junior black belt forms and weapons divisions, winning three grand championships, team demo and team forms.

Grand Slam Martial Arts, the home school, had a well-rounded showing in both black belt and under belts in forms and sparring, winning three grand championships of its own as well as junior boys' team fighting.

Another highlight was the performance of Team United from Canada which won four grand championships and swept all under belts and adults categories.

Elliot's Family Karate, of Roanoke, Va., won most of its sparing divisions, including junior girls' team sparring and three grand championships.

Individual highlight performances included the following:
- Men's Fighting Grand Champion: Willie Hicks
- Women's Fighting Grand Champion: Gina Thornton
- Senior Men's Fighting Grand Champion: El Java Abdul Qadir and David Coppock
- Senior Women's Fighting Grand Champion: Regena Thompson
- Adult Traditional Grand Champion: Jacob Cleary
- Adult Open Forms Grand Champion: Tim Wegert
- Adult Weapons Grand Champion: Marc Johnson
- Senior Forms Grand Champion: Eric Tremblay
- Junior Korean Grand Champion: Aaron Bailey
- Junior Japanese Grand Champion: Rebecca Young
- Junior Musical Forms Grand Champion: Noelle Jellison
- Junior Musical Weapons Grand Champion: Connor Chasteen
- Adult Breaking Champion: Rachel Proctor
- 9-Year-Old Open Weight Fighting Champion: Sean Culver
- 10-13-Year-Old Male Open Weight Fighting Champion: Elijah Reid
- 10-13-Year-Old Female Open Weight Fighting Champion: Victoria Austin
- 14-17-Year-Old Male Open Weight Fighting Champion: Yacub Kalifa
- 14-17-Year-Old Female Open Weight Fighting Champion: Alexa Fleishman
- Men's Fighting Grand Champion Runner Up/Men's Team Fighting Champion/Mixed Team Fighting Champion: Kevin Walker

Learn more about The Grand Slam Open Nationals and other Greatmats-sponsored martial arts events.

Infinity Martial Arts
Jeff Doss
Grand Slam Open Nationals
Richmond VA 23047