Jamaica combined martial arts gear up for ISKA US Open
Jamaica Martial Arts Association selected 20 athletes to train for the International Sport Karate and Kickboxing Association (ISKA) US Open after they competed at a tournament at the association's headquarters in Kingston recently.
The event drew participants from across the island and involved several martial arts disciplines.
Organiser Jason McKay contends that the event showcased Jamaica's best local talents.
"We invited every school organisation or art that had ever been associated with the Jamaica Martial Arts Association, representing a cross-section of styles, to include karate, tae kwon do and kickboxing, because we want the students to benefit from the sponsorship to attend the event, and to put the best of Jamaica's talent on display in the international arena.
"Local and international tournaments were hard hit by the COVID pandemic and the sport has suffered considerably worldwide," McKay said.
Jamaican fighters returned to the international arena last year, but the numbers were reduced significantly, with mainly single-figure participation in the US Open in Florida, ITF World Championships in Slovenia, and the ISKA World Championships in Turkey.
The best performance in these events was Akino Lyndsey, taking the ISKA gold medal.
The squad at the US Open this year is expected to include 35 fighters, with 20 fully sponsored by the combined team.