Mesa College in San Diego, California, played host to the TAA US Nationals this past July. With about forty-five players assembled from across the country, it was three days of workshops, competition and celebration.
Thursday night, many of the participants met in the Mesa College gymnasium to lay down tatami and mark out the competition areas. Then they gathered in the Mesa Commons for a welcome event. Friday was a day of workshops, with a number of godan candidates teaching a wide variety of subjects including jodan no kuzushi (Warren Pottebaum), koryu dai yon (Jeff Davidson), Ura Waza (Ash Morgan), and Kodokan Goshin jutsu (Greg Linden).
Friday concluded with examination boards for these godan candidates as well as a number of others. Those testing for shodan were: Bennett Bandiero (Raleigh), Dennis Bandiero (Raleigh), Daniel Chiquito (UNC), Caroline Spence (Raleigh), Nathan Pearson (Bay Area). Andrew Reed (Mesa) tested for nidan.
Saturday was filled with the preliminary rounds of the competitions. Before the final rounds on Sunday (see the results below), Kuhei Ouchi presented a workshop on some of the randori methods being taught at the Shodokan in Osaka. The finals were completed around 1:00pm, and everyone pitched in to clean up and square everything away. The awards banquet in the evening was a highlight, with Tiffany Doan taking home the award for overall points.
Video of the US Nationals is available at the Videos page (sign-in required).