As summer is about to turn into fall, the Capital Region’s combat sports community has much to celebrate.
From mixed martial arts, to judo, karate, wrestling – the pro and amateur types – here are just a handful of events taking place in the area in the coming months.
After hosting their Mike Tyson’s Fight Night event in Albany last month, the Cage Wars mixed martial arts promotion will return to their usual home at Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady for Cage Wars 53 on September 9th.
The amateur show currently has 10 fights on the car, including four title fights. A heavyweight title fight featuring champion Alex Marro defending against Joshua Depace is the scheduled main event. Former Mohonasen High School fighter Cory Quintana is set to face Matt Boyce for the Cage Wars super heavyweight title. The other title fights currently scheduled will see Joe Poirier and Jordan Scrom mix and match for the vacant flyweight title, while Phaidra Knight and Amanda Brundige will meet for the vacant women’s bantamweight crown.
On October 9, at the same time that many of its athletes will compete overseas in the World Judo Championships, the Jason Morris Judo Center in Glenville will host the 2022 Morris Cup event.
The tournament, to be held at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, returns after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the highly successful Journeymen Wrestling club is based in the Capital Region, it’s the Journeymen Fall Classic tournament that often sees some of the country’s top high school wrestlers before the start of the school season takes place out of state. on October 1-2 at Spooky Nook in Manheim, PA.
The action begins October 1 with Elementary, Intermediate, and Women’s tournaments, plus an “OverFLO” mini tournament that will earn winners a spot in the B brackets of the Main Event Fall Classic on October 2.
The MVP Arena in Albany is set to host television tapings for the two major pro wrestling promotions in the United States, just over two months apart.
On September 14, All Elite Wrestling will debut in the Capital Region with both a live edition of Dynamite and a taping for this week’s episode of Rampage. On November 21, WWE will host its first Monday Night Raw in Albany in over three years. Announced for the show are Saratoga Springs High School graduate and former NYSPHSAA wrestling champion Matt Riddle, Seth Rollins, Bayley, Bianca Belair, Kevin Owens, The Miz, Damian Priest and Finn Balor.
The technique will be on display Sept. 17 at the Golden Eagle Challenge, which invites martial artists from all disciplines to compete in a kata/forms-only challenge tournament at Galway High School. Each competitor will be required to perform at least two – and up to five – different katas or forms depending on experience. There will be medal rounds, with a championship round of similar medal round winners, and black belt champions competing for the event’s grand championship.
The Golden Eagle Challenge is part of the 518 Martial Arts competition circuit. Two other events on the circuit, the Capital District Karate and Tae Kwon Do tournaments are tentatively scheduled for October 30 at a location to be announced.
If you would like to submit your upcoming events to be featured in an upcoming edition of the Practice Session, contact me at [email protected].
LOCAL TAEKWONDO SCHOOL SHINES
Guilderland’s Pil Sung Taekwondo picked up huge medals last month at the AAU National Taekwondo Championships in Las Vegas and the AAU Junior Olympics in Greensboro, North Carolina.
At the MGM Grand Nationals, Pil Sung’s 16 athletes competed in the forms, points bout, plank break and Olympic style bout. In the end, Pil Sung won 151 medals, including 90 gold medals. Guilderland’s Clemence Mignot, a second-degree black belt, won her division, earned grand champion honors and earned a spot on the 2022-23 national team.
At the Junior Olympics, four Pil Sung athletes combined to win 33 gold medals. Additionally, Joey Hasan and Mia Hasan were the male and female leaders of the competition, earning them both the Joel Ferrell Memorial Award for Outstanding Performance for Taekwondo at the Games. The award honors the sportsmanship and ability of an athlete from each individual sport at the Junior Olympics.