THREE local martial artists are refining their technique as they gear up for the U.S. Open martial arts tournament June 30 to July 1.
Having competed in multiple international tournaments in the past, Robbie Cline, Adrian Babcock and Gavin Colongard from the Terrace Shogun Dojo say they have no idea what kind of competition they’ll face.
“We don’t know what to expect, but it’s supposed to be a good tournament,” said Cline, adding that they’ve never been to this event before.
Cline and Babcock both have several years of kickboxing experience under their belt, and Colongard’s been training a year and a half, but all three have competed in international tournaments in the past and done well.
Last November, the three went with coach Amber Pipe to a tournament in Miami, and all claimed gold in continuous point fighting.
Cline, who had planned to compete in the recent Terrace mixed martial arts fight card until he injured his knee, says he feels good and eager to compete.
He’s been fine tuning technique in his training recently and is excited, unsure what he’ll face but pursuing gold.
“I’m going to win,” Cline said of his goal. “Just like I do every tournament, I don’t expect to win, but I go to win.”
Colongard and Babcock both feel a bit rusty, since they’ve been working in camp over the last year, frequently out of town and missing a lot of training.
But Babcock says he expects that his instincts will kick in when he gets into his fights.
“I’m not going in as prepared as I’d like, but when it comes down to it, I know all my skill will be there and I just have to rely on my cardio to push me through,” he said.
Colongard says his aim is simply to do his best, climbing from the beginner division to intermediate this round.
This U.S. Open tournament in Orlando, Florida, is a plan B, because the Irish Open, which Cline and Babcock competed in last year, didn’t work out with their schedules.