2014 Southwestern Regional Championships and Dan Shim Sa

Wed, 12/31/2014 - 3:52pm — webmaster
"Tang Soo Do Rocks the South Plains Again!"
“Tang Soo!” was heard shouted across the South Plains starting on November 20th and going right through the weekend of November 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, 2014. The actual festivities started with a Leadership escrima class taught by International Master Debbie Jett, 6th Dan to well over 50 attendees. This class was followed by a Leadership presentation to an equal sized group of students and parents by Grandmaster St. James and covered lessons he has learned from a lifetime of leading.
The next day, Friday November 21st, students gathered for a Dan Shim Sa (Black Belt Test) as well as a mid-term review and instructor evaluation. Best of test honors were presented to Alex Trevino for the children of West Texas Karate. Dr. Gilbert Danforth, also of West Texas Karate, was awarded best of test for the adults. This was followed by a Shim Sa Kwan Nim dinner hosted by Grandmaster St. James at a local Thai restaurant and attended by both regional Masters and out of region Masters, master’s candidates, and chief instructors.
The next day we all gathered for the 2nd Annual Southwestern Regional Championships, followed by a general clinic which was taught by Kwan Jang Nim, International Masters Stacy Busby and Debbie Jett, both 6th Dan, as well as Master Mark Farquharson, 4th Dan. All events were hosted by West Texas Karate in Lubbock, Texas, with the Championships being held at the Aldersgate Methodist Church in Lubbock. The events were complemented by Lubbock hospitality to the many visiting students, instructors, school owners, masters, and of course Grandmaster John St. James.
Over 120 southwest regional students participated in the championship, many experiencing a championship for the first time. Participants checked in early to watch the black belts compete first. The audience was indeed captivated by the black belt competitions. During the opening ceremonies, two black belts were awarded grand championship trophies – Kyo Sa Alicia Gauna for the Women’s Grand Champion and Kyo Sa Gilbert Danforth for the Men’s Grand Champion both of West Texas Karate.  
Kwan Jang Nim St. James, and all the Masters, School Owners, and instructors gathered Saturday evening at the Double Nickel Steak House for a wonderful meal and to celebrate the great events that had transpired the preceding days. The Double Nickel is one of the finest restaurants in all of Lubbock if not the Southwest. Once again, you could feel the positive energy that accompanies all Federation gatherings. We are truly a family and the fellowship or brotherhood was palpable throughout.
The weekend was closed out at West Texas Karate on an early Sunday morning with a school owners and instructors class taught by Master Mark Farquharson, 4th Dan of Colorado Tang Soo Do. Master Farquharson offered students additional training on required Tang Soo Do forms and insight into instructing students on all aspects of the art. As is our tradition, everyone sweated and enjoyed the process of learning, growing, and sharing together.

From start to finish the West Texas charm and hospitality made for an unforgettable Southwest Regional gathering. Senior students valued working with the Masters and regional instructors. Newer students experienced a new appreciation of Tang Soo Do through the many events. As the region continues to thrive and grow, students look forward to more events in the region. A TAC Tour is scheduled for spring 2015 with special guest instructor Grandmaster Stephen G. Washington, 9th Dan and assisted by KJN St. James and a Leadership Camp in summer 2015. Tang Soo Do definitely rocked the South Plains and the APTSDF is alive and well in the Southwest. Tang Soo!!
By Deborah K. Jett, Kuktche Sabom Nim

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