CHIEF LOGAN STATE PARK — More than 30 competitors battled it out in the Fifth Annual Carlos Turner Karate and Sport Jujitsu Tournament at the Chief Logan Rec Center yesterday.
Turner said there were schools from all across West Virginia taking part in the tournament. He said schools from as far away as Fairmont and Milton traveled to the Chief Logan Rec Center to compete in his tournament.
“I’m pretty pleased with the tournament and what I saw out there today,” Turner said. “
Rhonda Lee from Fairmont said she liked competing at the Chief Logan Rec Center.
“I like it,” she said after competing. “It’s really nice.”
Lee took second place in the Forms and Weapons division.
Carmen Combs brought her school, Pinnacle Karate Center, to the competition. Combs took first place in the Forms and Weapons division.
Her mother, Cheryl Hutchinson, worked the tournament with Turner.
Turner said he wishes more competitors had come in for the tournament, but he still believes the interest in karate and sport jujitsu is growing in southern West Virginia.
“I’m pretty pleased with the tournament and the competition here has been great,” Turner said. “We’ve got kids here competing as young as four years old.”
Turner said all the schools are working together to support each other.
“We’ve got to come together,” Turner said. “This is all for the kids.”
Five-year-old Jacob Smith of Switzer won two first place medals and took second place in his first fight. Amelia Long, 6, of Chapmanville, was still looking for opponents late in the afternoon. She won several medals, taking first place in the 6-7-year-old fighting and weapons divisions.
“These kids are the future of this sport and it really helps with their discipline and confidence,” Turner said. “It helps them socially, too. Some kids are shy and backwards and you meet people from all over when you’re out there on the mat. You make friends if you compete long enough.”
Turner said he hopes to work with other schools throughout the state to have more tournaments and, then, to have a “best of the best” competition.
“We would like to make it bigger,” Turner said. “One day, I believe it will be bigger.”