Scores of skilled fighters show up for Black Lotus Empire Tournament
The Anatol Rodgers High School Gymnasium was loud and active on Saturday as martial artists took center stage at the 2nd Black Lotus Empire Martial Arts Tournament.
Black Lotus Empire was the host club and last held that tournament in 2019. It was not held in 2020 and 2021 because of the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was well-attended with 11 schools competing in support of the event that accommodated over 120 participants.
Lead instructor at Black Lotus and organizer Antoniez Higgs said he was happy with how the day went as the students and instructors put on a show.
“It was successful not just in attendance, but also in the results and how persons felt based on their enthusiasm,” Higgs said. “Those persons were very happy and pleased and it felt like everything was pretty much treated fairly for the most part. I got a lot of responses from both parents and instructors. They were happy with much of what we featured. We displayed the many different dimensions of martial arts, which were in forms or katas and we were able to do weapons. There was fighting as well – point fighting and there was also continuous fighting or what they call kickboxing. It didn’t call for persons to be subjected to just one thing.”
The grand champion in kata was Taye Adderley. Malik Rolle was the grand champion in the fighting division and Shawn Roache was the kickboxing lightweight champion. Phillip Smith was the kickboxing heavyweight champion. Alexander Cadet was the women’s kickboxing champion.
Winning kata in the black belt division was Demetrius Robinson. Gino Bowe got the top position for the instructors division. Stanford Oliver nabbed the top spot in the senior adult division while the women’s division was secured by Antoniece Higgs. D’Angelo Francis secured the title in the men’s division.
“The win was good. I was a little nervous. I thank God that I was able to come out with the gold medal,” Francis said.
Francis, who is from Black Lotus, used the sudden wind technique to impress the judges.
Black Lotus’ Raven Young ended up capturing the 13-15 girls beginners using the sudden wind technique too.
“I placed third in the last tournament I competed in, so I was very happy when I placed first,” Young said.
In the 13-15 boys division, Terrell Barrett and J’Vyon Brennen finished with the gold medal, tying for the top spot. The 11-12 girls division was won by T’mea Munroe and Lavardo Butler and Juan Hilson shared the gold medal in the 11-12 boys division.
Higgs was impressed by the performances put on by the participants.
“I saw one did a drunken form which was beautiful. Another did a monkey form which was awesome. There was a lot of athleticism along with a lot of flipping going on inside some of the rings. I think one of the best performances I saw, was the gentleman who used the sword inside the ring,” Higgs said.
The weapons grand champion was Treyvin Brown. Some of the fighters who secured first place finishes were Demi Sargent, Rayvon Burrell, Elkaya Rolle, Kyrie McCoy and Diego Sands.
Black Lotus Empire has been around since 2009 and has over 50 students. The school is the only one in New Providence that teaches Kung Fu and uses the Four Winds style. It has its base at the Holy Cross Anglican Church.
Higgs is looking to put on an event next year around this same time.
The schools that were in attendance were Black Lotus Empire, Bai Sung 26, Bahamas Tong Dojo, Bahamas Karate Academy, 5 Star Karate, Society of Shotokan Stylists, Bahamas Center for Martial Arts, Bahamas Urban Karate, Boys to Men Karate, Four Winds 20 and the National Academy of Martial Arts.