Sunday, October 30, 2005

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Saturday, October 29, 2005


Re: Two Team NYC Pro Karate Members interviewed on Point Fighter

Two Team NYC Pro Karate Members interviewed on Point Fighter

Ross has been one of the top junior competitors in Sport Karate for a few years now. He moves up next year to the Adult Division so watch out for him cause I see "Rookie of the Year" potential.

Q & A
How old are you?
I am 17 years old, turning 18 on October 9th.
Where do you live?

I live in Brooklyn, NY.
When did you start Martial Arts and why?

I started Taekwondo when I was 7 years old, mainly because my brother had been involved in it since I was 5. What really sparked me was the first day he had come home from an interschool tournament with a shiny new trophy and I wanted one too.
When did you start competing in the BB division?

I received my black belt at the age of 12 after 5 years of training, but did not start competing until 2000.

Who do you train with?
For sparring I train with Hakim Walker. He has contributed a lot to my success in the past 2 years and has really brought me to the place where I am today in the point fighting world. My father has also taught me several little tricks of the trade to help me in my conditioning workouts.

What World or National Titles do you own?
2000-2002 Promoters Plus NY State Champion, 2003 NASKA World Traditional Forms Champion, 2003 NASKA National Sparring Champion, 2004 NASKA World / National Weapons and Sparring Champion.

You move up next year to Adults, what weight class do you want to fight in?
As of right now I will be entering the Light Heavyweight Division. This is where I would like to be because it has a wide variety of talent, and it will prove to be a good challenge for my 1st year.

You are currently a member of J. Phillips, they are mostly a forms team. Everybody knows you love to team fight. Do you think that they have plans of building a fighting team around you or will they let you team fight with other teams like they've done in the past?

Yes, J.Phillips is mostly a forms team, and right now im actually the only fighter on the team competing on the NASKA circuit...and yes I do love to team fight. During talks about next year's team, I know we are in the process of trying to expand, I do not know of any new pick-ups or interests yet, however I would love to bring a team together to fight with. It's always nice to have another person on the team whom you can really relate to as far as competition goes, in my case I haven't had a fighting teammate since WKF. But until then I will continue to just do my thing and enjoy it.
You will be fighting for the NYC Road Warriors in Las Vegas Legacy.

Can you tell me more about this project?

Yes, im really excited about our trip to the Las Vegas Legacy. For right now im actually the alternate fighter, and depending on the match ups, I may or may not fight, however if the opportunity arises, im more than ready to step up and get the job done. I am very confident in myself, and my teammates: Captain Jadi Tention, Hakim Walker, and Lawrence "Kodaq" Wray, coached by Grandmaster Willet, and Tico Flores. We are also being filmed for the television pilot of a reality show called "Road Warriors" which is going to be very interesting. We are all training very hard together, and for me it's a great experience to be around these people. It has given me a huge boost of motivation and inspiration in all aspects of the game, as well as my personal life. We are looking forward to a great time in Vegas!

Who has been your toughest opponent this year?

This year my toughest opponent has been Sheldon Wray, who trains out of the great Wray family's Next Level Martial Arts. I have a ton of respect for the entire family. They are all extremely talented and the potential in Sheldon is endless. I'm sure Sheldon and I will be fighting for 1st place at the remaining events we each attend.

Who has been your toughest opponent ever?

My toughest opponent ever was Sensei Akin Williams. Some may not be too familiar with him, however he is a very talented, and well respected old school fighter coming from the same instructor as Sensei Jadi Tention. At a small tournament in upstate New York 2 years ago, I fought in the men's division, and made it to the grands to fight Sensei Akin. After the 2 two-minute rounds the score was tied. After a 3rd two minute tie breaker round, we were tied again, forcing another 2 minute round! At the end he was ahead by two points, but it was my most memorable and meaningful match to this day.

You will be a rookie next year in Men's who else moves up with you from 16-17?
I'm not sure of too many fighters moving up, but I know for a fact that one of my close friends on the circuit Troy Binns will be moving into the adult division. From the looks of it, he will be hard to beat in his division.

Do you teach and what is the name of the school you attend?

I teach private lessons and seminars for creative bo techniques, and sparring. I just started teaching at an Amerikick school in Brooklyn with Alex Davydov, however I am currently attending Jadi Tention's Championship Karate school in the Bronx and Silent Thunder Martial Arts in Brooklyn, where I have the opportunity to train with some of the greatest fighters in the Tri-State Area.

Hakim Walker has been tearing it up lately on all Curcuits. He came back into the National tournament scene last year and has made an impact in the 30-39 Division. He has also been a threat to the the younger 18-29 guys by beating alot of them in the Grands and in Team Fighting as a Member of Straight Up. Walker was picked up by Straight Up last year and started for Straight Up in team fighting many times. His last event as a Straight Up member was the US Open making Hakim one of the top Free Agents in Sport Karate right now.

Q & A-2005

When did you start Martial Arts and who is your instructor?

I started my martial arts training in the fall of 1979 at The World SEIDO Karate Organization in New York City. My instructor was the late SHUSEKI-SHIHAN William Oliver, who is world renowned for the Karate
Documentary called, The Fighting Black Kings, released in the 1970s.

When did you start competing in the BB division?

I started competing in the Adult BB division in 99. But I've been around the NASKA circuit competing as a junior since the 80's, watching the greats of that era of sport karate and anxiously awaiting my turn on the big stage.

What year did you stop and why did you stop?

I stopped competing in 1989 because of family reasons. I needed to take time to understand the things that my family was looking into from a religious standpoint, which that made me put competing on a shelf for a while.

Why did you come back?

Simple. I love karate and I love the sport. They are two separate entities, and to do one you need the other. This is a discipline I've had in my life since I was 5. Karate has been good to me and so I just wanted to return to what I have known all my life. I missed the atmosphere and I wanted to prove to myself that I could compete in this sport at its highest level and be successful.

Who do you train with?

At present I train with World Champion Jadi Tention. Since I've been back, I was introduced to Mr. Tention through a mutual friend of ours, Mr. Jesse Wray, who is also a NASKA world champion. You may not know this, but Mr. Wray and I go back to our days as juniors, competing against each other all the time. But since I've met Jadi, we've been working out on and off. But getting rededicated to the sport has forced me to accept the challenge of becoming the best I can be and that means spending a few hours a week at Mr. Tention training facilities.

What is your secret to coming out so strong after such a long gap?

I have always managed to keep active in sports in general. Iove maintained a good workout routine over the years and haven't stopped working out. Not only that, like professional athletes of other sports, I believe a full regimen of conditioning and weights go along with sparring and drills to give one that edge in competition. I have a personal trainer and track coach who oversees my exercise routine to keep me fresh and my body ready for the long season. And I also try to watch what I eat because taking care of one's body is key to staying healthy.

Do you own a school?

At present I do not have a school of my own. It's something that I'm considering when I retire from the sport, but not right now. Having a school puts many demands on a person. I wouldn't have the flexibility to compete and run a successful business at the same time. But it's under consideration though.

What are the Titles you won?
I've won a few titles in the past few months, but I've got my sights set on a few more. Two in particular: a NASKA World Title as well as an NBL World Title. I've heard that saying, Your not champion until you become a champion, so that's been my goal since I started on this road of competing against the sport's best. But here are a few thus far:

2005 ISKA and WSKF World Champion
2004 WSKF, Pan American, WKF World Champion
2002, 2003, 2004 KRANE National Champion

You won the WSKF title last year right, how about NASKA?

I did win the 2004 WSKF world title last year in Chicago. I didn't get anything for NASKA last year because I missed the deadline for registration. But this year I have my name in the running for a world title.

I know your on pace to winning NASKA this year and won WSKF this year as well... How about NBL, did you do the Super Grands last year?

No, I didn't make it to the Super Grands last year. But I won a couple of overall Grands on NBL this year and I am looking forward to being in attendance at this year's Super Grands.

Hakim, now that you have made your announcement to not be part of Team Straight Up anymore, Are you looking to get picked up by another team or are you going solo?
Yes, I am interested in getting picked up again. But at the moment I will move forward on my own until I hear an offer that I like. In D.C., I will represent myself and wear my own uniform for now.

If you are looking to get picked up by another team are you looking for the best offer or best team or a bit of both?

What I'd look for is chemistry. Championship teams have great chemistry. Great teams are built on chemistry and through their chemistry they build that camaraderie that makes guys have each other's backs on the competition floor. And that's proven is any team sport.

Yes, I would say I am looking for a bit of both, the best offer and with the best possible shot of winning. Being on a team should make guys closer. A team should have that camaraderie that causes a bond to form with one another. This way if youre going to war (team sparring) you should be able to look in your teammates eye and see that he's got your back and vice versa.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Team NYC Pro Karate

Team NYC Pro Karate launches new blog

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