I've got my coffee and a couple minutes to share the highlights from the 4th Annual Goodwill Tournament held last Saturday in Vallejo. We had a great day with the sun shining and a cool breeze off the water. Over all, we had great participation with over a dozen 13-17 year olds, a small group of 8-12 year olds and a total of 7 teams (21 fighters) for the adult team competition. The double elimination format gave everyone at least two fights so there was a lot of activity. In the end, it was the UFMAC team taking first, followed by OGE in second and Kada Anan in 3rd. In keeping with the goodwill nature of the tournament, UFMAC was made up of players from Bahala Na Multi Style and Senkotiros. Thanks to GM Mel Orpilla's Island Warriors for their help with score keeping. We seriously could not have kept the brackets straight without them. Thanks also to our hosts GM Orpilla, GM Emile Bautista (Kajukenbo), Guro George Cabiles (Kombatan), Professor David Ducay (Kajukenbo) and our own GM Michael Giron (OGE). There was a lot of serious competition and hard fighting but also a great deal of laughter and friendship. That was the goal and we succeeded.
On a personal note, congratulations to our OGE students. You guys showed a lot of courage and hard hitting. Everyone did a great job. Jacob sent pieces of head gear flying off his opponent; Rico - lightning fast - enough said; Matt, the big man went to town; Janelle, pressed forward without wavering and Amanda, that head shot on the break brought the crowd to their feet - my power house. Special thanks to Ashley from Kajukenbo for teaming up with Amanda and Janelle - damn girl, you can fight! - you are always welcome to fight beside us. When you face a challenge, gather your friends, draw your weapons, say Bahala Na and press forward - never giving ground. That's what we teach and that's what I saw. I am very proud of you all. Thanks to GM Michael for the opportunity to represent him and OGE. You trusted me with this event. I am humbled by the opportunity and hope I did a good enough job. Next year, I want to see all of you here. Thanks. GLM