A Newton High School freshman took championship in his fighting division in a six-day karate competition in Sacramento.
Micah Williams, Jr,. took first in his division and placed in five other divisions in the NBL Supergrands tournament, a six-day event that is the karate equivalent to the Super Bowl. The tournament was held Dec. 26 to 31.
“When I went to the Supergrands in 2010, it was my first year. I felt more prepared and ready with this being my second year to fight in the tournaments, because I had already gotten over the nerves I had in the year before,” Williams said.
The best fighters from around the world come and compete in the six-day tournament to see who comes out on top. Competitors from Mexico, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Canada and England along with many others were represented.
Williams did well in the competition despite breaking his big toe in the middle of the first match. “We didn’t know it was broken until the match was over, and by then I was in so much pain that I almost couldn’t stand it,” he said. “The paramedic asked me if I wanted to stop competing, but I told him no. I had not come so far to let a broken big toe stop me.”
Williams said that he loves watching the matches take place while he isn’t competing.
“It’s amazing watching some of the best fighters in the world compete. You end up learning something from their techniques that you can use for yourself as well,” he said.
Williams has been competing for three and a half years now. He competed on and off before then, but it wasn’t until he saw his father and coach Micah Williams, Sr., compete in his division that he decided it was something he wanted to do in the future as well.
In order to participate in the tournament, one has to compete within one’s divisions all year long and has to be within the top five of each division.
“The month before, I practiced seven days a week to get in better shape,” Williams said. “Weight is a big deal leading up to the Supergrands, because you have to be able to stay in your classes’ weight range. After the holidays and even leading up to the day we left, I had to increase my cardio to help me stay in my weight range.”
Williams had won several other competitions and awards, including the All-Star Sport Karate League and International Karate Circuit awards. He said that many people have inspired him during his time in karate.
“I look up to Raymond Daniels and Jadi Tention, and then of course my dad. My dad’s taught me everything that I know. A man that was called Master Ace was a great mentor to me. He passed away in 2010, but was a great inspiration to me,” Williams said.
This year’s Supergrand tournaments will take place in Buffalo, N.Y. Williams looks forward to getting ready for another great set of competition.
“My favorite part about karate is being able to travel the world. I love being able to compete for my country. Someday I hope to be able to win a tournament that takes place overseas and receive my black belt as well,” he said.