CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The Nathan Goff Armory at the West Virginia National Guard building in Clarksburg was packed to the brim for a karate tournament.

Over 230 participants from 11 states, as well as local competitors, were watched by over 500 spectators as they attended the second Suibukan Tsunami Open Martial Arts Tournament. Competitors were split into divisions depending on age, skill level and style of fighting. The event included three-point and one-point sparring, traditional forms, synchronized forms and weapon style of martial arts. A spectator fee of $5 was charged at the door.

“I think martial arts is a great opportunity for kids to learn how to do things that are very scary, to get in a ring and present a kata in front of a group of individuals and be scored and judged on that is very difficult, and then to get a ring and fight somebody in combat is another scary thing,” said Jenica Greynolds, Senpai of Suibukan of West Virginia.

Instructors said that they are instilling in their students that it’s okay to fail but get back up and try again. Greynolds said that a lot of times, competitors travel all over the country to compete.

“So, to have one in their own backyard is great, and all of their family, grandparents, cousins, and siblings are able to be here today. So, they are cheering them on and they are able to show off all the work they have put in from the entire year,” Greynolds said. “So, it is a great opportunity to showcase what these kids have learned and put it on display.”

Suibukan Tsunami Open Martial Arts Tournament was an AKA-sanctioned event, and it was the first AKA event in the Mountain State which officials added puts them in a national light allowing competitors to compete for national points and rankings.