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BIRMINGHAM (March 26, 2014) -- One of the world's premier martial arts championships will take place at Samford University on Saturday, April 26. The tournament is sponsored by the World Oyama Karate Organization headed by Co-founder and Director Saiko Shihan Y. Oyama. This year, proceeds from the American Cup will go to Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham. The 38th Anniversary "American Cup Knockdown Karate Championship" will be held in Samford’s Seibert Gymnasium. Semi-knockdown events will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by the American Cup Knockdown Championship bouts. There will be light- and heavyweight knockdown divisions for men. In semi-knockdown competition there will be divisions for children, men, women and seniors.
"We are pleased to help Children’s of Alabama. The competitors and supporters of the World Oyama Karate Organization want to fight for those children so that they don’t have to [fight]," said Oyama. "Those who are fortunate enough to be healthy and strong should be thankful and work every day to improve their stamina and health. Our motto is, ‘Just sweat!’”
Karate styles vary greatly, but full-contact, knockdown competition is always electrifying. The American Cup fighters compete bare-footed, bare-knuckled and without protective headgear. Because of the nature of this competition, only the world's most highly skilled karate fighters are invited to compete for the coveted American Cup. Protective gear is allowed in the semi-knockdown bouts.
The internationally acclaimed American Cup draws karate competitors from many countries. Past American Cup knockdown fighters have come from Poland, Greece, England, Canada, Uruguay, Russia, Japan and the United States. The tournament, founded in 1976, was originally held in Atlanta, Ga. It was relocated to Birmingham in 1997. Headquarters of the World Oyama Karate Organization, originally located in New York Cityis now located in Birmingham.
Those who want to help this effort to support Children’s of Alabama can do so by buying tickets to the American Cup Karate Championship, by purchasing an ad by April 4 in the tournament program, or by donating directly to Children’s of Alabama. The competitors are soliciting friends, family and coworkers to sponsor their fight to help Children’s. Donation checks made out to Children’s of Alabama may be sent to World Oyama Karate at 1804 29th Avenue South, Homewood, AL 35209-2616. Tickets for the American Cup Karate Championship are $15 before tournament day and $20 at the door on April 26th. Donation checks and proceeds from the tournament will be given to Children’s of Alabama following the championship. Call 205 879-4841 or go to www.worldoyama.com for further information about tickets, ads or sponsorships.
Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children since 1911, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Last year, families made more than 659,000 outpatient and nearly 14,000 inpatient visits to Children’s from every county in Alabama and from 45 other states and four foreign countries. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. and has been ranked among the top children’s hospital programs in the country for the past four years by US News & World Report. More information is available at www.childrensal.org.