9th Annual North East Open Tournament
This past Saturday we attended the North East Open tournament in Albany, New York. This was the 9th year of the event, hosted by Master Adam Grogin and Pil-Sung Martial Arts. The venue was the Marriott hotel and the place was packed.
More often now, we're being given the option to setup the evening before. That's huge for us, as our booth setup takes several hours. We'd much rather spend those early morning hours catching a bit more sleep and talking to early attendees rather than unloading and unpacking. Thank you to the event for allowing this and we hope it becomes more common as we move forward.Hailey showing off her new whistlekick sparring gloves. She had her second consecutive pushup victory on Saturday.
This was a busy event, with all of the action taking place in the main ballroom. Other space was made available for staging, a judges lounge, competitor equipment storage and so on. Even our booth spread out, with one of the best setups we've had. Certainly, no one walked by our space without knowing whistlekick was there!
One of the major differences between this event and others we attend was the number of breaking divisions. As a US Breaking Association / World Breaking Association event, there were a ton of divisions just for breaking. While this was great, having that many more events certainly extended the length of the day. The last divisions ended around 9pm which made for a lengthy day of competition.
There was some criticism of the length of the event, and I reached out to Master Grogin, the promoter, to get his feedback. He acknowledged the criticisms and offered this in response.
"Yes, the event ran long. Longer than I was comfortable with. While we do plan on a full-day, and ask folks to plan accordingly, we certainly stretched that definition. This was our largest tournament yet and it presented some challenges, not just the length of the day. We have a planning committee meeting already scheduled for next month and we'll be talking extensively about how to improve and keep things from running so long next year. I care greatly about the quality of the event as well as the experience of those attending. I can promise that we'll be back next year with an even better tournament."
Thank you to Master Grogin for his reply. Based on everything else we saw at the event, there's no doubt that things will improve next year. This was one of the most carefully run events we've been to and it shows a lot of attention to detail.The family that does pushups together! Keith, Hailey and Nick.
Our pushup challenge went well and had some new participants. Back in April we attended the Capital District Open and were floored at the two new records we saw - 68 for the girls and 90 for the mens, a daughter-father duo. Well, this time they were back and bested their scores from April. Hailey turned out 69 this time and her father, Keith, had 94. Keith's son, Nick, had an incredible score of his own with 71. This is one fit family! You can see all of the scores and the updated standings over at pushups.whistlekick.com.whistlekick President Jeremy with Skylar. You can see some of the photos from our shoot used in a poster announcing required sparring gear for the event.
Some of you will recognize the woman in this picture. Skylar has been kind of enough to model our gear and apparel for our website and it was nice to get a chance to talk to her outside of anything professional. She's a tremendous martial artist and she's been representing our products well. She also said she loves our sweatpants...
It was a long, but wonderful day as we had brisk sales and talked to a lot of great people. There was some overlap with the folks that attended the Super Summer Seminars and it was nice to be able to share our full product line with them. Lots of kind words on the sparring gear from people that had purchased previously and quite a few new customers. Thank you to all of the people that came by to talk, whether or not you purchased.
Thanks to everyone that made the day a success. While it was a long day it was a great one. We didn't even make it back to HQ Saturday night, instead stopping in Rutland to prepare for the Superfoot Seminar the next day.