Local martial artists win big at 2004 nationals | VailDaily.com

Local martial artists win big at 2004 nationals

Daily Staff Writer

Recently, James Lee’s Karate “School of Champions” brought a competition team of 39 students to Albuquerque New Mexico to compete in the 2004 United States Karate Alliance (USKA) National Championships.

The USKA Nationals is a very prestigious event open to only those who have qualified by finishing in the top-four at a state, regional, world or last year’s national championship events.

“Only the best of the best in the U.S.A. are there” says Lee. The event also holds training seminars with some of the worlds most famous martial arts masters alive today.

The “School of Champions” definitely earned its name again.. The school totaled 13 national championship titles and one national grand champion with 30 of the 39 placing in the top-four.

“Most divisions totaled more than 25 people and were very talented,” Lee said. “I am very proud of all my students for just being there and competing against the Nations best martial artists. To have 30 students in the top four is just amazing. They all have trained very hard to get to where they are and have earned the title of ‘Champion'”

David Mills of Gypsum won first place in the Brown Belt men Kata division, then went on to beat out all other first-place adult Kyu (under black belt) competitors for the National Grand Champion Award. Mills also placed first in team kumite and fourth in individual kumite.

Other JLK National Champions were:

n Daniel Lang of Edwards winning first place in Koshiki (full contact fighting); first place in Chanbara (padded weapons full contact); second place in kumite and 1st place in team kumite (sparring) in the adult brown belt division.

n Sarah Cooper, 7, of Eagle won first place in kata (forms) division.

n Kris Cooper of Eagle and Nikki Cribbs of Avon placed first in women’s team kumite. Justin Ryan of Eagle won first place in the 12-13 boys kumite division, beating out his teammate Nathen Roscoe who ended up with a second place.

n Randy Nygren, Mike Anders, and Bruce Hasbrouck of Eagle placed first in team kumite in the colored belt men’s division. Casey Kerrigan and Cody Vancampen of Eagle took first place in the youth team kumite division.

“It was a good day” Lee said who is the owner and chief instructor of James Lee’s school of champions. Lee says “Although most of my guys did really well and there are some who wish they would have done better, they all walked away happy to have been there. Each of them gained a little bit more experience that they will take back to the dojo and train a little harder for the next one.”

The next USKA karate tournament is Saturday at 10 a.m. The event will be held at the Brush Creek Elementary School. For more information, call (970) 328Ð4360 or check out http://www.jamesleekarate.com.

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