Story by Boice Lydell
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Sacramento, California, USA
photos by Trevyn Jenkins & Boice Lydell

11 & Under Hard & Soft Creative Weapons (N-39)
Both the finalists in this division had at least four first place national and/or regional conference seeds a piece as they confronted each other for this title contention, while the player left in third entered completely unseeded having to run first up in a long string of players. Interestingly enough this player was Jaime Nakamura, last year world champion. In contention for the title was first year Mackensi Emory of California and veteran, Sage Northcutt of Texas. Emory scored the world title with a Northcutt bow out. Northcutt takes the record with three bow out at the Games, more bow outs than most players ever get a chance at competing in at the Grand Finale. Despite the bows he still won an impressive four titles this year after having qualified for 10 spots in the Grand Finale.

12 to 14 Male Hard & Soft Creative Weapons (N-40)
Ask almost anyone and you’ll get the response that Jordan Simon is the present long bo star of the circuit. His black and silver trimmed uniform along with his flashy silver bo has become synonymous with weapons tricking and ultimately winning. By training, a traditionalist, he won his first world title in traditional weapons, a division he’s failed at winning since his stardom in the contemporary weapons field. This year in the creative division he was the run-away victor by four one-hundredths or more in both the eliminations and Grand Finale. Runner-up was Chinese stylist Anthony Magallanes making an impressive rookie stand with his Wushu staff. Both players hail from Southern California. Jacob Ellis, also from Southern California, took third.

15 to 17 Male Hard & Soft Creative Weapons (N-41)
You might call the win in the Finale a reversal from the eliminations, but if so it wasn’t by much as both players initially tied in the eliminations. In the tied run-off however, Juan Gonzalez of Mexico pulled past Daniel del Valle of El Paso, Texas to become the top seed for Grand Finale play. Unlike the bo routines of the 12-14 year old counterparts, these two young adults sported the finest in creative kama weapons routine. After a little blunder with his kama, Gonzalez could only produce a 49.89 leaving del Valle’s 49.93 as the world title winning score. He hails from Laco Villanueva’s champion Alchemy Team and Gonzalez from team VKA. Bo wielding Nick Cain of New York was third.

11 & Under Hard & Soft Choreo Musical Weapons (N-42)
Mackensi Emory of California topped Sage Northcutt of Texas by two one-hundredths in the eliminations. The kama wielding pair met again in Grand Finale 1 where only one one-hundredth separated the pair, but again Northcutt was on lower end. Emory trains at the Satori Academy under Rudy Reynon. Northcutt represents Team Schumann. Amanda Armendariz under Salvador Schumann in Guatemala took third.

12 to 14 Hard & Soft Choreo Musical Weapons (N-43)
Records are ment to be set and this division set a new standard in NBL history. Jordan Simon set an all time record scoring a perfect 30.00 in the eliminations and a 50.00 in the Grand Finale. Not only does he set this record for the first time, but also becomes only the second person in NBL history along with Jason Tankson-Bourelly to win the Grand Finale twice with perfect scoring. Pulling up behind him was NBL rookie, Jacob Ellis who will remain in this division for the next couple of years as Simon moves into 15-17. Both Simon and Ellis hail from Southern California. Rene Torres of David Marquez’ Okinawa Karate Do in Mexico City was third.

15 to 17 Hard & Soft Choreo Musical Weapons (N-44)
After several disappointing years not making the stage or in the case of last year, making stage as the eliminations winner and then loosing, Juan Gonzalez of Mexico made stage a whopping six times this year. While only winning two of the six, he made a definite impression that he was here to stay and in the top contention for the future. Surprisingly he wasn’t the eliminations winner here. Fellow Mexican Damian Marquez, also of the Mexico City area won the eliminations, but succumbed to Gonzalez 49.96 to 49.91 for the title. Both players train under Mexican National Conference promoters, Luis Jimenez and David Marquez. Anthony King of Colorado took third after a tied run-off with Gonzalez for second in the eliminations.

Junior Hard & Soft Open Musical Weapons (N-45)
Making his contemporary weapons sweep complete, Jordan Simon took junior open musical weapons by storm as well, topping Alejandro Escobar of El Salvador and leaving Chinese stylist Anthony Magallanes in third. Simon nearly hit the record book with two perfect scores in the Grand Finale taking a 49.99 over Escobar’s 49.95. Escobar trains under Eric Tale of El Salvador while Simon trains under Butch Togisala in Southern California.

12 to 14 Female Hard & Soft Creative Weapons (N-46)
Still in its infancy but without lacking any talent, junior girls’ weapons pitted a soft stylist against a hard stylist as Mia Caldwell edged Jasmine Magallanes by one one-hundredth in the eliminations. Wielding her Chinese broadswords Magallanes superseded Caldwell in the Grand Finale to win her first title. She trains under Ding Wei of Omei Kung Fu in California. Caldwell is under Jacob Tapia in El Paso, Texas. Mara Hipolito of Utah took third.

15 to 17 Female Hard & Soft Creative Weapons (N-47)
The Magallanes kids made a big debut splash this year at the Games. In this division Monique Magallanes used her broadsword against another soft style routine with the fans performed by Kelsey Spaur. While the eliminations was nearly a dead heat, Magallanes got the nod of nearly all the judges in the Finale to leave her 49.95 to 49.90 and the world championship. She trains wushu with Ding Wei while Spaur trains Kenpo under Chuck Cordova. Nicole Grabe of Dragon Bushido in Idaho took third.

Men’s Hard Creative Weapons (N-48)
The top five national conference seeded players representing five different countries; El Salvador, Guatemala. Canada, USA and Mexico wound up in the top six places in this class act division with only four one-hundredths total separation between all of them. With Canadian, Nick Bateman left in third, Jonathan Tale of El Salvador and Felipe Alvarez of Guatemala were destined for the Grand Finale after they tied in the eliminations. No stranger to the Finale stage, junior turned adult, Felipe Alvarez was back and was looking better than ever. Pulling off an amazing combination including a weapon toss, back flip and catch all as one movement, one would think he was unbeatable. But twice he messed up later in the form leaving Tale and his dynamic dual kama on a rope routine to capture the world title. They both represent the Schumann International Team.

Adult Hard Choreographed Musical Weapons (N-49)
Dropped weapons plagued four good players in this division including number one nationally seeded Felipe Alvarez, while players from three additional countries took the top three slots. Nick Bateman of Canada took third place as Jonathan Tale of El Salvador and Josh Durbin of the USA placed within on one-hundredth of each other with Tale on top. Both were electric in the Finale, Durbin with his fanatical aerials utilizing his long bo and Tale with fast paced dual kama on ropes. In the end the judges overwhelmingly gave the world title to Tale leaving him with two world titles in his rookie Super Grands attendance.

Adult Soft Contemporary Weapons (N-50)
Roark Hodson has been winning titles ever since 1997 when he sold his motorcycle to be able to afford to attend his first Super Grands. Hodson’s other passion is motorized vehicles and the one vehicle he won’t sell for any reason is his beloved Dorian, a classic handmade rare automobile. He had his best year to date racking in three titles this year including soft style weapons where he topped Jennifer Jau of Sholin Kempo Arts in San Diego both in the eliminations and the Finale for one of his three titles of the Games. He lives in Kaysville, Utah and trains at the O&M’s Hapkwon Do Studio.

Women’s Hard Creative Weapons (N-51)
Last year Mocha Davies won the eliminations but fell victim to Lauren Ferguson in the Grand Finale for the world title. This year she started out the gate in the lead again leaving Shantell Dawson of Team Wright in second. The Finale was again all hers however toppling Dawson with a whopping 49.97 to 49.90 and scoring three “10”s. She trains under Steve Amaro protege, Brandon Hastings in Hesperia, California and is a members of Steve Cooper’s Team International.

Senior Hard Contemporary Weapons (N-52)
This was Armando Anselmo’s first time at the Super Grands and he not only made a big impression with his traditional performances but walked away with three titles to boot, never failing to outscore his Finale opponent by less than five one-hundredths. Quite an impressive record for his first year. In this division he beat top seeded Eric Aquino by a comfortable margin in the eliminations wielding his sword but in the finals he shot even higher with what was probably the highest senior scores in NBL history with four scores of 10 and three 9.99s. He hails from the city of Oceanside in Southern California while Aquino is from Vallejo in Northern California. Camille DeLoach of Pinnacle Martial Arts in Utah was third.

11 & Under Hard Traditional Weapons (N-53)
If it was an 11 and under division on stage, Sage Northcutt was in it. Literally, he was in eight of nine of the 11 and under divisions on stage and even the ninth one he initially tied for second. And when making it to stage he might win, loose or bow out. In the case of this division he was looking for a return win after his loss last year from his prior win the year before. After leaving last year’s champion, Jaime Nakamura in third place he found a new challenge in rookie Trevor Kim this year. Topping the younger player twice, Northcutt won the title back with his form Kacheeta Di. He trains under Johnnie Murphy in Houston, Texas while Trevor Kim is a protege to Kenny Lim in Vancouver, British Columbia.

12 to 14 Hard Traditional Weapons (N-54)
In Japanese forms and traditional weapons Colbey Northcutt’s formidable opponents both this year and last were players from Don Benoit’s traditional school in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Losing both years in Japanese to Benoit’s students she slid past Justin Lanteigne last year in traditional weapons by one one-hundredth. This year she was paired against newcomer Christian Fey. Again she persevered, but with a more comfortable margin defeating Fey in the Finale 49.94 to 49.91 with her long bo. She trains with Johnnie Murphy and lives in Katy, Texas. Jordan Simon from Escobar’s Karate in California was third.

15 to 17 Hard Traditional Weapons (N-55)
Mike Spizzuco came a long way from breaking champion in 2004 to the full-fledged traditional forms and weapons player he is today. Winning Japanese last year and Korean this year he also excels in traditional weapons. Narrowly topping a Mexican from the DM Team in the Korean forms division he found another formidable Mexican opponent as his foe in this division as well. Balam Najera also of Team DM in Mexico trailed Spizzuco by a mere one one-hundredth when the division ended in the eliminations, but performing kata Iohi-cuchi-bo to Najera’s Kai-goten-ro-kafu, Spizzuco got the nod of all seven judges to win the title in the Finale for his first time. He hails from Juan Kan Karate and trains under Juan Perez in New Jersey. Silvio Scarcella from Bateman’s Martial Arts in Canada was third.

Adult Hard Traditional Weapons (N-56)
There is always room for another first as this division now holds a unique statistic. Never in the history of the NBL competition has an adult hard style traditional world title been won by a senior player. That was until this year. Armando Anselmo’s dynamic and impressive handling of the katana narrowly won him the eliminations before running away with the title with the vote of all seven judges including two scores of 10 in the Grand Finale. He now joins the ranks of NBL traditional weapons icons Keith Weston, Brian Pena, Cody Hackman, Brandon Bertsch and Pete Daypuck. Trained under Tadashi Yamashita he lives in Southern California. Runner-up was Scott Wu. He trains under Manuel Gonzalez in San Francisco and represents Team Pro-Rank. Kenny Lim of Canada took third.