On February 14-15, 2020, WAKO USA conducted its largest-ever Tatami Sports National Championships in Kansas City, Missouri. USA Tatami Sports Director Bob Leiker and Vice Director Jarrett Leiker organized this successful event, which took place at the brand new Hy-Vee Arena.
With participation from 77 clubs, 21 regions and 937 entries, tatami sports in the United States is at its strongest point in the history of WAKO USA. Some of the top performers from the weekend were Kayla Miyamoto and Enrique Letona. Miyamoto, a 2018 WAKO Junior World Champion, captured both the Junior Grand Champion and Senior Grand Champion for Women as well as -60kg Juniors, -65kg Juniors, -60kg Seniors, and -65kg Seniors. Letona similarly won both the Junior Grand Champion and Senior Grand Champion for Men as well as -69kg Juniors, 63kg Seniors and -69kg Seniors.
Dumlao’s Martial Arts was one of the most successful clubs of the weekend, earning more national team spots than any other club in attendance. Coached by Sean Dumlao, this club has been one of the top clubs in the USA for many years, producing numerous national team members and past WAKO World Champions.
Looking to the 2021 Combat Games, WAKO USA also qualified the following athletes for the next step of qualification to compete at the 2020 Pan-American Championships in Point Fighting:
-60 KG Point Fighting Women- Kayla Miyamoto, Alayna Watts
-70 KG Point Fighting Women- Loren Jevons-Lee, Raquel Binns
-63 KG Point Fighting Men- Enrique Letona, Blake Spence
-79 KG Point Fighting Men- Tyreeke Pierre, Henry Lam
-89 KG Point Fighting Men- Troy Binns, Lucas Allen
WAKO USA will take its largest teams in its history to this year’s Junior World Championships in Serbia as well as the Pan-American Championships in Brazil.