We attended last week's KICKUSA Nationals in Gardiner, Maine. This was the 23rd year of the event, held at Gardiner area High School. The event was well run and had a few fun extras.
While most martial arts tournaments are content to offer hot dogs, chips and cookies at the concession stand, this event went a step beyond. Crisci Enterprises parked a food trailer right outside the venue and served a variety of fair-style food all day. People seemed to really enjoy it and it was definitely a welcome change.
Being a Maine event, this tournament was both IPPONE and SMART rated, which brought out a different crowd than we often see in other areas. The competition was strong despite the numbers being lower than at some events. While not a scientific approach by any means, every division I got to watch had strong competitors, regardless of age or rank.
Sales were good for us, especially of the polyester t-shirts. With several new colors to choose from, many people bought them for what we intended - to wear under their uniforms and absorb sweat. It's a great base layer that keeps you cooler than even competitive shirts from other companies.
Push-up challenge numbers were solid, especially in the girls division. In fact, we had more early participation by the girls than at any other tournament. A big congratulations to everyone on their solid scores, especially Kaia, Abby, Ben and Hanshi Bernard, the division winners.
We have a few weeks off until the next event, the Summer Spectacular on June 27th in Saco, Maine. This event was in Portland last year but excellently run by Dragon Fire Martial Arts. If you have a chance, you should consider this on your must-attend list.
Until next time, train hard, stay cool and smile!