Years ago when the competition air in Oklahoma was soured with politics, bias and simple un-professionalism, I revised, with a team of several martial arts peers, the new Oklahoma Karate Association after the original died, mostly from indifference. The point-fighting scene gained new momentum and lasted for several years.
After a trip to Shihan Monaco's tournament in Rochester in the early nineties, the twenty-four hour drive home was a contemplative one and I knew standup fighting kyokushin-style was the direction I knew my school was about to undertake and the world of point-fighting competition for Eaglewings OKC came to a slow demise.
Up until now, the only real competition my students had a chance to participate in, other than our in-house invitationals, was the AIKC in New York. Subsequently, in the area of the more traditional competition of kata, semi-contact and knockdown, opportunities had been few and far between.
It's been said you can't re-invent the wheel and "if it's not broke, don't fix it." I've also learned to not waste time developing something that's inevitably going to fail or not have some semblance of eternity to it. With that said, I'm offering something that has yet to hit the road or be in need of repair since in this region of the world as I know it, standup as exemplified in the world of kyokushin has yet to be truly showcased.
Look up the word "vanguard" and you'll see it's a balls-y endeavor. The foremost position in a battle or movement. The foremost position in an army going into harm's way. A military-wizened friend defined it as" the tip of the spear." In Okie farmboy language, "the pioneers who risked it all for the good of the many, i.e.-the trail-blazers".
It's simple. Vanguard Standup Federation is, once again, a team of qualified leadership showcasing traditional karate competition as we know it best, including semi-contact and knockdown fighting as the key elements. There will be 4-5 sanctioned tournaments a year with point placement for first, second and third in all divisions. At the season closer at the end of the year there will be some form of award recognition, culminating with adult knockdown championships as the main event. Details on recognition of awards will be announced asap, but what IS important is that competition has begun and anyone interested can begin compiling points now.
History-making has always been a demanding, arduous and sometimes painful task, but it's a calling I grip with both hands. You'll be informed as details develop. In the meantime, plow ground with us May 19th. The seven last words of any dying organization or movement are:
"We never did it that way before."
Sensei Ellis Weber
Founder and Senior instructor
Eaglewings Kyokushin karate