Wiregrass Open Martial Arts Championship coming to Troy

Published 8:32 am Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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After a few years hiatus, the Wiregrass Open Martial Arts Championship (WOMAC) is making its return and will debut in Troy on March 30.

The tournament, which is hosted by Lennis Darby’s local karate dojo MojuKai Karate, will feature age divisions ranging from seven years and under all the way up to an over 45 age group. There will be a sparing competition, weapons demonstration and kata/forms competition. Darby said that unlike many tournaments around, WOMAC is truly open to all.

“A lot of martial arts schools will only do closed tournaments – only tournaments that are supported by their style or system – because they don’t want to compete against other styles,” Darby said. “We only do opens where everyone is invited. This is an open tournament to all styles of martial arts from karate to taekwondo to Kung Fu or Akido. We don’t care what you’re style is, you’re welcome.”

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This is the first time the WOMAC has been held in a number of years after COVID-19 put a stop to it in 2020. Then, Darby became Director of the Alabama State Games for a time. The tournament – which was previously held in Enterprise – is coming to Troy for the first time. He said that he believes this tournament, though, will be the largest yet.

“This event looks like it’s going to be exceptionally larger,” said Darby. “I’ve had people from as far away as Tallahassee (Fla.) and Mobile tell me they’re coming already.”

The tournament will be held on March 30 at the Pike Liberal Arts School Gymnasium.

“Anyone that has ever had any interest in martial arts I think this will be very exciting for,” Darby emphasized. “If you don’t understand martial arts, it’ll also be super exciting to watch.”

Darby said that his school is here to stay in Troy and he hopes anyone that has possibly had bad experiences with martial arts schools in the area will come check out the WOMAC to see what MojuKai offers.

“I know that Troy is very prone to have a school open here and then one or two years later it’s gone but we’re here to stay,” he said. “If people have ever had a bad taste left in their mouths from something that happened at a school before, come out and see what it’s really like with us.”

Registration is open currently for the WOMAC and Darby said that registration would also be available at the door on March 30. There is a $60 entry fee for all three divisions and the cost for fans to attend is $5. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the competition begins at 10 a.m.

Grand Champions will be awarded in each of the following divisions: men’s black belt sparring, women’s black belt sparring, adult black belt forms/weapons, adult under black belt forms/weapons, youth black belt forms/weapons and youth under black belt forms/weapons. There will be beginner, intermediate, advanced and black belt divisions for each age group, as well. There will be the seven and under age group, 8-10 age group, 11-13 age group, 14-15 age group, 16-17 age group and 18-34 age group for each division. There will also be a 35 and up for beginner, intermediate and advanced, while Black Belt will also have a 35-44 age group and 45 and up age group.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064649847256.