PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The 35th annual Sunshine Classic Open Karate Tournament returned to Panama City Beach this weekend.
Hundreds of athletes competed and learned about karate. The different events at the tournament included Kata, Musical Kata, Weapons and Sparring.
“All the way from beginners to black belts,” World Yoshukai Karate Co-Director Mike Culbreth said. “A lot of good competition and everybody’s having a good time.”
There were participants of all ages from young children to adults.
“All ages here,” World Yoshukai Karate Co-Director Hiroaki Toyama said. “Some start at two years old or three years old and then some at maybe 80 years old. It’s good for all ages.”
One of the big competitions of the day was the bare-knuckle fighting. Moses Sanders won the fight this year.
“I practiced hard, so the hard work paid off,” Sanders said. “I was underestimated by some people who were watching, but they saw the outcome.”
The goal of the bare-knuckle competition was to show what the fight should look like when you do it properly.
“It’s one of the main aspects of Yoshukai Karate,” bare-knuckle fighter Shenandoah Mcinnish said. “This is a pillar of it. It’s another challenge to challenge the spirit.”
Another athlete raking in the trophies was Jace Himes, who took first place in open hand and weapons.
“It’s really awesome, you grow up, watching these movies, Himes said. “Then just watching it come to fruition and happen is just really cool.”
World Yoshukai Karate Shihan Jimmy Croley also brought home a trophy as a grand champion.
“I try to be an inspiration for my children to see,” Croley said. “I’m 70 years old, so for me to still be doing it and taking it from these young kids is good practice.”