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1973 UNITED STATES KARATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
After the preliminary smoke had cleared, 12 contestants had earned their way to a semi-final berth and an eventual chance to meet Los Angeles' Bob Dunek, defending Grand Champion.
"Fast Billy" Wallace Regains Title, Oregon's Dan Anderson Makes Big Waves
Photos by, DUKE PEARSON and JACK MEFFORD
DALLAS, TEXAS: Some 9,000 spectator s flocked to the Dallas Memorial
Auditorium to witness
Some of America's top coaches were on hand to insure fair play and organizational proficiency. Joe Alvarado, Steve Armstrony, Pat Burleson, Ed Daniels, Sob Halliburton, Jim Harrison, Thomas La Puppet, Lou Lixotte, Chuck Loven, George Menshew, Skipper Mullins, George Pesare, Takayuki Mikaml, Jhoon Rhee, Kong Rhee, Mike Stone, Fred Wren, and Bob Yarnall, just to name a few. One reads a lot about poor sportsmanship at Karate tournaments. This is unheard of in the Southwest. A Karate-ka displaying poor sportsmanship at a Dallas tournament would be considered a poor insurance risk.
After the preliminary smoke had cleared, 12 contestants had earned their way to a Semi-Final berth and an eventual chance to meet Los Angeles' BOB DUNEK, the defending Grand Champion.
LIGHT WEIGHT SEMI-FINALS
Anderson vs. Harkins The first match of the evening featured Jim Harkins of Denver, a man who has really been hot on the National tournament scene, and Portland, Oregon's Dan Anderson. Anderson's presence created a lot of comment amongst the competitors on hand. It seemed the general consensus that Anderson was over rated because he came from an area that does not provide that much competition. Many of the Black Belts were of the opinion that Anderson was weak and flippy in the execution of his technique. They found out quickly and some painfully that they could not have been more wrong as Anderson plowed through the eliminations with the power and caol of a real champion.
Anderson went on the offensive in this opening semi-final bout and gained an early two point lead. Harkins came back with a ridge hand to the throat, then tied it up 2-2 with a reverse punch to Anderson's rib cage. Cautious flurries of kicks followed, but neither player could score. Then, in the closing seconds, Anderson countered a Harkins kick with a head punch to win the match 3-2.
Havanas vs. Dacascos The next Lightweight semi-final bout pitted the "Golden Greek", Demetrius Havanas of Dallas, against Denver's Al Dacascos. The crowd went wild as their hero Havanas was introduced. There was more cheering than at a Dallas Cowboy football game. Havanas
began pouring it on, but was checked as the lightning fast Kung-Fu specialist scored with a defensive head punch. The Greek quickly evened it up with a back fist making the score 1-1. Decascos received several flags in the ensuing moments, but could not get sufficient verification for a point. In overtime, Havanas leaped high in' the air with a jumping backfist to score the winning point.
Uselton vs. Kurban Dallas' Roy Kurban, a man with a winning streak that is second only to Bill Wallace, really had his work cut out for him as he faced Austin's Mike Uselton, a good fighter with superb technique. Uselton has not fought in many tournaments in the last two years, but is a consistent winner when he does. The match was played very cautiously with Kurban taking a narrow 1-0 victory.
Kijewski vs. McCoy One of Chicago's super stars, Steve Kijewski, then look on newcomer Billy McCoy of Kingsville, Texas. The experienced, national star Kijewski was heavily favored. McCoy, however, had other ideas . and pulled out a 2-1 victory. Kijewski was suffering from an injury and had to forfeit his next match and settle for fourth place.
Wallace vs. Fugate America's number one competitor, Bill Wallace, was now ready to take on Kirby Fugate, another Dallas giant. Fugate took the initiative but severely underestimated the speed of Bill Wallace's legs and tost 3-0 as Wallace scored heavily with defensive kicks to the head. Fugate, however, is a big, tough fighter and we expect to see him in the winner's circle with consistency in the near future.
Butin vs. Gotcher In a hard-fought battle the veteran champion James Butin of Denton, Texas bested one of the Southwest's top new stars, Dennis "Sugar Bear" Gotcher, 2-l. Gotcher is another consistent winner who should be making a big splash amongst the nation's top guns in the very near future. Gotcher fights often and everywhere and has seven Grand Championships to his credit this year alone.
HALF TIME DEMONSTRATIONS
Allen Steen provided the audience with his usual power packed half time show. Thomas La Puppet and Owen Watson of New York City demonstrated self-defense from sitting positions on a chair. They displayed the clean, disciplined Shotokan style. The techniques displayed were excellent and very instructional to many of the Karate-ka present. The two New Yorkers impressed the locals and nationals all day with their ability as officials and bearing as true Karate leaders. One began to wonder why, with officials like these, the East Coast has so many disciplinary problems. PROFESSIONAL KARATE confidently endorses these officials and suggests they be notified and listened to if anyone on the East Coast decides to hold a legitimate, disciplined tournament.
Bob Campbell of Boston was next and performed his Weapon's Kata winriing form with a sword. Darnell Craig of Houston then gave an impressive Kendo demonstration. Then, the great TAKAYUKI MIKAMI of New Orleans, three time winner of the All Japan Karate Championships in Kumite and Kata, performed an advanced Shotokan Kata to the pleasure of the crowd. Sensei Mikami is one of the most respected instructors in the Southwest. Everyone has nothing but praise for this man's ability and he always gathers a crowd of top-rated Black Belts in his room, all seeking to gather some of his vast knowledge. This is truly a high compliment as an estimated 85 per cent of all Southwest Karate is composed of Korean Tae Kwon Do.
The demos ended with a self defense skit by the Simpson family; Jack, Candy, Bill, and Paul, a family of Back Belts from Steen's Arlington club. Jack, the father, is in his 40's and still competes more than his children.
Anderson vs. Havanas These two fast and superb technicians won the crowd's immediate enthusiasm. They began the match by displaying a flashy exchange of kicking and counter-kicking techniques. Anderson scored the first two points by countering Havanas' attacks with perfectly timed and well-controlled spinning back kicks to the Greek's head. Havanas, behind 2-0, began to pour it on and finally scored with a reverse punch, but lost 2-1 as time ran out. DAN ANDERSON (Portland, Oregon)- U.S. LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION
LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION. MIDDLEWEIGHT FINALS
Kurban vs. McCoy The Middleweight finals got off to a slow start with the experienced Roy Kurban more or less observing the surprise finalist Billy McCoy. McCoy proved he was no slouch by taking a late 1-0 lead by countering a Kurban roundhouse with a reverse punch. Kurban had to hurry to tie the score with a jumping lunge punch in the closing seconds. In overtime McCoy took the offensive. He grabbed Kurban's gi and received a reverse punch to the rib cage as payment. ROY KURBAN (Dallas, Texas)- U.S. MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION.
Butin vs. Wallace Next came the match that many of the coaches felt would determine the ultimate outcome. Butin was out to avenge his loss to Wallace in 1971. The coaches present were giving Butin the edge because he was fighting in his region and had a strong desire to win this particular match. Butin took the lead early with a reverse punch, but "Fast Billy" Wallace evened it up shortly with a round-house to Butin's head. Butin, however, continued to press. He attempted a foot sweep which Wallace took and pivoted back with heel kick with the same leg Butin swept. The heel kick landed squarely and well-controlled on Butin's head to make 'the score 2-1 with 5 seconds left. Just as time was called, Butin struck Wallace with a roundhouse of his own to tie the score 2-2. Another over.time. Butin charged fiercely as the sudden-death overtime began and Wallace placed another roundhouse kick squarely on his head. Butin, knowing he had blown it, smiled in acknowledgment, thus ending the match between two of Karate's real greats. BILL WALLACE (Memphis, Tenn.)- U.S. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION
GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
Dunek vs. Wallace- Los Angeles Bob Dunek was seeded in
the Grand Championship finals automatically since he was the defending champion. Dunek
started the action by hitting Wallace twice with reverse upset punches to the rib cage,
but did not receive a point either time. The. punches were either covered where a majority
of the judges could not see them, or the. officials felt they did not have sufficient
power. He finally scored with a backfist to Wallace's head.
Wallace then kicked Dunek in the back of the head with a roundhouse but received no point. Uh-oh! Dallas fans were suddenly having visions of the sixties.when at least 50% of your opponent's brains had to be openly exposed before you could get a point. Coach's consensus had it that this was not just another tournament, but the U.S. Grand Championship, and any points awarded would have to be unquestionable target-wise, focus-wise, and power-wise. The five officials judging the match were amongst America's best. Wallace finally tied it up with a backfist. In the closing seconds, Wallace hit Dunek in the chest with a side kick that knocked him out of the ring to win the match.
Anderson vs. Kurban- Roy Kurban of Dallas opened the scoring with a foot sweep-reverse punch combination. Portland's young Dan Anderson tied it up with a counter spinning back kick to Kurban's chest. Anderson executed his defensive kicking movements with precision and excellent timing ail day. Anderson tried a drop kick, but could only get two figs. Again Anderson attacked and stunned Kurban with a heel kick to the face. Two officials called face contact; and two called point. Result nothing. Time ran out with the score tied l-l. In overtime Kurban quickly scored with a head punch to give him the victory and the right to meet Bill Wallace for the title.
DALLAS-FT. WORTH VS. WASHINGTON, D.C.
The crowd went wild as Pro team matches were announced and the players entered the arena.
The power-packed Texas team was heavily favored as it was composed of five of the toughest, most experienced players Kurban, Butin, Gotcher, Havanas, and Billy Watson who, after being dormant for over a year, has been trying to make a comeback. This group of talent was coached by their instructors Allen Steen and Pat Burleson. The Jhoon Rhee coached D.C. team, experienced in team competition, Looked cool and confident as they faced their formidable opponents. The team members were Gordon Franks, Wayne Booth, Wayne Van Buren, the highly rated Pat Worley, and the D.C. Powerhouse Jeff Smith. Smith is one of the country's new stars and strong contender for National Top 10 honors.
The matches were unique because of the use of Jhoon Rhee's new invention SAFE-T PUNCH and SAFE-T KICK. This is protective equipment made of puffed foam that may well revolutionize sport Karate. The hand and feet protectors are as light as a feather and do not impair one's normal movement. They make cutting the face next to impossible. Face contact was allowed in the matches, but it was not to be too excessive.
Round 1 (Worley vs. Kurban)- This match, featuring two of America's top guns provided a lot of action with a lot kicking and counter-kicking, but neither could score a clear point. Score 0-0.
Round 2 ( Franks vs. Butin)-Eighteen year old Gordon Franks of D.C. proved that size and age mean nothing in a Karate match. James Butin being at least a head taller and 50 pounds heavier. Franks scored first with a jump punch to the head. Butin then followed up with a lunge punch to Frank's head that knocked him to the canvass. After several flurries and exchanges where no blows met their target, the match ended. Score 1-1.
Round 4 (Van Suren vs. Watson)- D.C.'s Wayne Van Buren is seldom heard of because he does not compete very often in open competition. He does, however, fight quite often in Pro Team competition. He has size and strength and is a strong kicker and puncher. He wooed definitely be one to reckon with on the national circuit if he would compete other than on the East Coast. Van Buren took the lead early with a roundhouse kick to Watson's head. Watson then retaliated with a head punch to tie the score. This match really had some power-packed action with neither player giving an inch. Then, Van Buren executed a beautiful spinning back wheel kick followed immediately by a reverse punch to take a 2-1 lead. Now the slugfest really began with both fighters pounding each other solidly about the head. No clear points could be determined. Finally, Watson landed a solid head punch to tie the score. Score- Texas 4- D.C. 3.
Round 5 (Smith vs. Havanas)- This was the match everyone had anxiously anticipated as two of America's most experienced and versatile fighters began the final round. D.C.'s Jeff Smith really began to pour it on. He never ceased his powerful barrage of kicks and punches from start to finish. Smith scored first with a hard punch to Havanas' head, then with a roundhouse to the head as Havanas was attempting a (believe it or not) flying spinning back drop kick that barely, but costfully, missed its mark. This made the score 2-0 and put D.C. back in the lead 5-4. Rather than sitting back and coasting to victory, Smith continued to apply the pressure and scored again with a roundhouse to win 3-0. FINAL SCORE- D.C. 6- Texas 4.
Havanas was not his aggressive self through the whole match. He was obviously favoring his injury. He had several stitches put in his mouth earlier which was the result of an uncontrolled punch he received in the preliminaries. This statement should in no way sell Jeff Smith short. It would have been a miracle if anyone could have beaten. him that night. The polls are not in yet at the writing of this article, but Smith should easily make the National Top Five.
Wallace jams Kurban's back kick.
Kurban vs Wallace This was the big one. Both real pros and nationally rated fighters. Nearly 200 of America's Black Belts had fallen before them. Wallace was looking for revenge from the year before and Kurban, who has won at least 10 Grand Championship titles this year, wanted to win this one more than all the others put together.
ROUND 1 - Both players threw alot of kicks and counter kicks, but neither could score.
ROUND 2 Each fighter scored with round- house kicks to the head. Score 1-1.
ROUND 3 - Both men were cautious, but did exchange a lot of kicks. No score. OVERTIME - This was the big moment. The next point would tell the tale. The second the referee gave the beginning command, Wallace lunged forward with a clear, well controlled heel kick to Kurban's face to win the match and very prestigious title.
WINNER AND UNITED STATES GRAND CHAMPION- BILL WALLACE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE.
NEW ENGLAND WINS EAGLE CUP
Team competition was held the following day, but only four teams showed up to compete. Two of the teams were composed of players from different areas of the country. The New England and Washington, D.C. teams were in tact. Many of the scheduled teems failed to show due to the aches and pains of Saturday's National competition. The George Pesare Coached New England team of Paul Graves, Dennis Passeretti, Roger Carpenter, Ralph Bomba, and Bob Campbell beat the D.C. Team in a super-exciting match that was determined in an overtime sudden death play-off; New England, an area that gets little publicity, proved that their players rate with the nation's best. Rhode Island's Paul Graves is a tough and skilled fighter who deserves mention. Graves is another "Silent Player" who could make a lot of noise on the national scene if he would compete more often. Bob Campbell is another New Englander who could make the big time if he made more of the bigger tournaments. Pesare and his Italian Army proudly took the "Eagle Cup", the team championship's coveted award, back to New England, thus ending a weekend which saw some of the nation's top fighters make Allen Steen's U.S. Championships a tremendous success for the tenth year in a row. [end]
OF 1973 UNITED STATES KARATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
|BLACK BELT-HEAVY WEIGHT DIVISION
1st Bill Wallace, Memphis, Tenn.
2nd James Butin, Ft. Worth, Texas
3rd Dennis Gotcher, Waco, Texas
4th Kirby Fugate, Dallas, Texas
BLACK BELT-MIDDLE WEIGHT DIVISION
1st Roy Kurban, Dallas, Texas
2nd Billy McCoy, Texas City, Texas
3rd Mike Usleton, Austin, Texas
4th Steve Kijewski, Chicago, Illinois
BLACK BELT-LIGHT WEIGHT DIVISION
1st Dan Anderson, Portland, Oregon
2nd Demetrius Havanas, Dallas, Texas
3rd Al Dacaseos, Denver, Colorado
4th Jim Horkins, Denver, Colorado
SCHOOL TEAM AWARD
Texas Karate Institute, Dallas Texas
TEAM CHALLENGE MATCH
Washington, D.C. Team
BROWN BELT-HEAVY WEIGHT DIVISION
1st Louis Arnold, Austin, Texas
2nd E. Williams, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma .
3rd John Dellitt, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
4th Mr. McKeathan
BROWN BELT-LlGHT WEIGHT DIVISION
WOMEN'S ADVANCED SENIOR DIVISION
WOMEN'S GREEN-BLUE AND UNDER DIVISION
GREEN-BLUE 4 UNDER-HEAVY DIVISION
GREEN-BLUE & UNDER-llGHT WEIGHT DIVISION
WHITE SELT-HEAVY (OVER 90 DAYS)
WHITE SELT-LIGHT (OVER 90 DAYS)
(UNDER 90 DAYS)
1st Earl Gilkey, Oklahoma City, Oklahama
2nd Mike Nelson, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
3rd Mike Gassaway, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
4th Bob Appleby, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
WHITE BELT-LIGHT (UNDER 9O DAYS)
JUNIOR DIVISION (14-16-15 YEAR OLDS)
JUNIOR DIVISION (11-12-13 YEAR OLDS)
PEE WEES DIVISION
MINI PEE WEE DIVISION
KATA DIVISIONS KATA - WITH WEAPONS
KATA - BLACK BELT
KATA - BROWN BELT
KATA - WOMEN'S
KATA - WHITE BELT
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