Written by Sensei Maria Van Dessel
On November 8th, 2008, World Kanreikai Karate held its second Open Full Contact Tournament in Danbury Connecticut. The event, hosted by Kanreikai founder Hanshi Manny Matias, was a well attended evening of much excitement.
Fighters wore no protective equipment aside from groin and mouth protection – no headgear, shin pads or hand pads. Punches to the face are not allowed, but all manner of kicks to the head are legal, as are attacks of any sort to the body and legs. With these rules in place, the fighters – who came from many styles and from all over the world – were going to have to be experienced and well trained.
The light weight men’s division , as is often the case, impressed with its fast moving, high energy fights. Chris Concalves of the United States fought with ferocity to take third place, in a fight in which the action frequently spilled out of the ring. The final fight, between Dominik Rezpka of Poland and Khaid Montaev of Chechnya , was two rounds of continuous action, with Rezpka eventually taking the light weight crown.
Among the middle weight men, too, there was much excitement. Clai Henry of USA defeated Vladimir Mineev of Russia in a grueling battle for the championship. Both fighters were surely weary from earlier fights, but they gave no sign of this as they drove each other around the ring. Third place in this division was taken by Andre LaFond.
The heavyweight division brought Marcin Nowosielski of Poland , a fighter of incredible speed, stamina and power. He battled his way to the finals, winning each fight along the way, and defeated Lukas Luczynski, also of Poland , for the championship. Scott Haug of USA was third.
Female fighter were combined into one division, and here, too, there were many hard fought f ights. Marylene Prince of Canada defeated a game Maureen McConnell of USA to take third place. And the final fight, between Anna Kolodziej-Plewka of Poland and younger sister of Kyokushin World champion Julie Lamarre, Kathia Lamarre of Canada , was a true display of championship talent – two rounds of lightning kicks and full power punches found Kolodziej-Plewka the winner and Lamarre a very game second place.
During a break in the fighting, there was a demonstration of Brazilian Jujitsu technique by Best Way Jujitsu, of Connecticut, as well as some semi-contact fighting by teenage “fighters of the future.” It was a full evening, with a great display of fighting spirit, and all participants appreciated the opportunity to participate in this event.