THE Association of Professional Martial Artists in collaboration with the North America Federation of Martial Arts will stage the 13th Saint Lucia Piton Open at the National Cultural Centre from 9:00 a.m. today.
The championships officially started last evening with a series of preliminary round matches as over 150 male and female participants from Russia, U.S.A., Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica and host Saint Lucia compete in various categories.
The event is considered one of the most prestigious martial arts events even held in Saint Lucia.
Benny Chitolie, Chairman of the Association of Professional Martial Artists, told The VOICE on Friday that he was pleased with the overall planning of this year’s tournament.
“Like previous championships, this year serves as a great opportunity for the Saint Lucian athletes to compete and test their skills against some of the best martial artists in the business,” he noted.
“Our intention is to raise the bar locally where martial arts are concerned and the Saint Lucia Piton Open creates an atmosphere and avenue where martial artists can come and work together, learn new skills, various techniques and understand the different rules of the sport they are involved in,” he added.
According to Chitolie, the Saint Lucia Piton Open generates a tremendous amount of business in the tourism sector and for the last three years, the U.S. team headed by Jose Torres, 7th Dan Black Belt in Tang Soo Do, has been coming to Saint Lucia with their family members and friends also making the trip.
Sports enthusiasts attending the event will see the various athletes compete in Kata, Sparring, Weapon Forms, Team Forms, Jujitsu, Demonstration Competition (all countries) and the Championship event for all Black Belt first place winners respectively.