We at Kenpo Academy in partnership with Dragon Phoenix Martial Arts have been running the Alliance Tournament for 13 plus years now and with another one just around the corner, we thought we would get nostalgic and tell you about why we started it.
The story starts with two instructors that had left a … coalition of schools so they could choose how to teach their students without a governing body managing them. Leaving came with perks and drawbacks just as any decision of magnitude does.
Shihan Lenny Demers and Shihan Jesse Dwire both believe that attending tournaments is an important part of a martial artist’s instruction but they had some problems.
First, the tournaments they had been attending would consistently run for an impossibly long 12 hour day. The Shihans did not want to be there for that long so how could they continue to have students who were already nervous about competing, stay that long too.
Second these tournaments would run out of trophies. Students that had won would go home with only the promise of a trophy instead of the actual thing. To make things worse those promised trophies often never came forcing Shihan Lenny and Shihan Jesse to buy their students trophies instead. Something had to change, but luckily buying those trophies sparked an idea.
“We can start our own tournament!” Shihan Lenny probably said.
“And we can call it the Alliance Tournament!” might have been Shihan Jesse’s response.
They went out, bought trophies, picked up ring supplies from Staples, had a craft day to assemble sign and such, and held an in-house test tournament. It went AMAZING! No hitches, smooth, plenty of trophies In-Out-Done
Soon after Kenpo Academy and Dragon Phoenix Martial Arts rented the West Running Brook gym and the Alliance Tournament was born.
“Tournaments build character” It is because of this that we have run 2 per year since that 1st one in 2004. The Alliance Tournament grew a lot in that time but we always have plenty of trophies and are still In-Out-Done.