Featured activities included an exciting combination of high-flying Tae Kwon Do kicks, rapid-hand Shoryn Ryu movements, sparring, and a multi-style array of fast-swirling martial arts weapons. There was also a sensational acrobatic martial arts tumbling exhibition. All events kept the capacity crowd applauding and cheering throughout the day.
In addition to nearly 300 registered contenders, another 300-plus family members and onlookers came from dozens of Northern California cities and packed into the school gymnasium to cheer on competitors and enjoy the activities which make up a typical martial arts tournament.
As one of the Bay Area's largest and most popular martial arts events, each year Delta Smackdown draws ever-increasing numbers of participants and supporters.
In reference to the overall turnout, tournament co-sponsor Tammy Calvin said, "They're getting bigger, better, and more exciting, and for sure, that's good for martial arts."
Not only was the excitement reflected by applause and cheers from the stands, it could be seen on the facial expressions of intensity, focus, and dedication of all competitors. Children and adults, male and female alike were all anxious to exhibit their sharply-honed skills.
Keila Hernandez, 8, a stylist for Japanese-Okinawan karate from San Francisco, won Grand Champion in Forms for ages 4 through 9. Her proud parents, Ana and Modesto, attended the tournament with Keila's 16-year-old Black Belt brother, Oscar.
Although not all awards were conferred by press time, other champions included John Felipe, a Uechi-Ryu stylist from Pittsburg who won Grand Champion in Black Belt Forms, and 12-year-old Kajukenbo practitioner Jarell Calvin of Antioch, who placed first in Open Forms.
There were many contests for the best in katas (forms), individual and team sparring, self-defense and weapons exhibitions. Also, performing to the background of "Rocky"-style fighting tunes, the audience was treated to a daring demonstration of martial arts acrobats.
According to Sifu Tim Calvin, event co-sponsor and owner of Delta One Martial Arts in Antioch, "Everything turned out just great, and everybody had lots of fun." Calvin, one of six hosts and coordinators for the AMAPA Finals, has sponsored Delta Smackdown for the past five years.
Delta Smackdown 2006 was sanctioned by the Affiliated Martial Arts Promoters Association (AMAPA). Delta Smackdown is an annual preliminary event. Top winners are selected for the AMAPA Finals, to play major roles in an All-Star Karate Championship Series.
This year's AMAPA Open Martial Arts Tournament and the special Year-End Show will be held Sept. 1 and 2 at the Anaheim Resort & Convention Center.