by Renshi Riaan Van Dyk

This past Saturday Joplin hosted the Eye of the Storm Karate Championships.

As this was the first tournament of the year four state area martial artists were very eager to get back on the competition floor as they have been forced to endure a two month tournament layoff. Several competitors came prepared to exhibit their forms and sparring skills they have been working on during the tournament off season. One of these competitors is Jacey Swopes who competes for Team VDK.

Jacey competed in the Youth 9-10 Novice Division. Jacey, coming off of a spectacular 2017 season finish, planned to jump into the 2018 tournament season starting with a strong showing. Strong was exactly the result for Jacey at the end of the day. Jacey won a 1st place in Traditional Weapons, a 1st place in Open Hand Forms and a 1st place in Point Sparring. Her wins in both the weapons and open hand forms earned her a spot in the Youth Forms Grand-Champion Runoff. When all of the scores were added and results given, Jacey won her second consecutive Youth 17 & Under Novice Grand-Champion Trophy. Congratulations Jacey.

Pictured: Jacey Swopes and Instructor Riaan Van Dyk.