What if the number of times the tournament was held is not the quality indicator? For so many years (that's more than 4 decades!), the world's top sport martial arts competitors have fought for the Diamond Nationals grand championship diamond rings, which have been called the top prize in all of the sport karate.
"The transition from "pens and paper" to online registration and management of the event had not been easy until Diamond Nationals and Uventex Labs' partnership was established in 2016. Moshe Gershberg (the founder and CEO of Uventex Labs) is always extremely helpful and cooperative in leading the way in hi-tech tournament management." – says Mr. John Worley, one of the Diamond Nationals promoters.
We are incredibly proud of our strong connection with a tournament of such magnitude, scale, and impact on sports. This year, the event will be held on October 21-22. It's your chance – get ready to compete with the best and against the best!
We also asked Mr. John Worley to tell us more about The "Diamonds" history, his vision of the martial arts future, and his inspiration, and to answer why The Diamond Nationals is very special to so many sport karate athletes. Read the interview below!
The story behind the tournament
We started the event in 1978. This is the 44th annual. JLB Productions is composed of Larry Carnahan, Bill Dunkley, myself, our immediate family members, and the leaders among our DN (Diamond Nationals) production team. Our first grand champion was Keith Vitali, the top-ranked fighter in North America then.
There have been many changes in tournaments during the past 44 years. Initially, form competitors only had two options - empty hand form and weapons. Now there are as many as five or six different events. Also, the Team competitions (both form and sparring) are relatively new to the national level events. Sponsored teams, led by J. Paul Mitchell, have helped top competitors manage the expense of traveling and competing in the top tournaments.
Diamond Nationals' fame
The "Diamonds" is unique because it has always had an excellent reputation for being well organized, fair, and competent in officiating. Additionally, the tournament is staged in top-quality facilities and hotels. I think the overall "hospitality" of the Diamond Nationals team makes for a fun and exciting experience for all competitors and fans. The JLB productions team is second to none and has experienced leaders who genuinely care about the quality of the event. Some of our top people have been involved with the event, first as competitors and later as event leaders for the entirety of our 44 years.
Larry Carnahan, president of the North American Sport Karate Association, travels to the top NASKA events throughout North America. Mr. Carnahan keeps us updated on the latest, most significant sports martial arts developments. He inspires all of us to continue to be on the cutting edge of the sport, and our team always rises to the challenge.
About martial arts and Diamond Nationals' future
All of us at JLB believe the future for sport martial arts is terrific. As more and more people are exposed to the top events, the future for participants and spectators alike is very bright. Our team has a wealth of enthusiastic young leaders who love the sport as much as we do and are bringing new energy and new ideas all the time.