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WKC 2010 World Championships

USA Medalists

Gold Medalists

Avery Behr
Troy Binns
Michael Bouyea
Kimberly Harrison (4)
Justin Jones
Kris Pilgrim (3)
Morgan Plowden
Sidney Shields
El-Java Abdul-Qadir
Michael Weingartz (4)

Silver Medalists

Kris Pilgrim (4)
Christopher Gorham
Vincent Johnson (2)
Harris Edwards
Cheyenne Titus (5)
Austin Bryant (2)
Sarah Morris
Sergio Brandon
Eric Ross
Tracey Farnes (2)
Bernard Frost
Ricky Murray
Charles Rice (2)
Dwight Bargainer
Justin Generette
Noah Gilleylen
Eric Scott (2)
Olivia Shumleff (2)
Gamal Byfield
Kimberly Harrison
Katie Murphy
Sean Titus

Bronze Medalists

Nick Nowakowski
Eric Scott
Gabrielle Gerdes
Dwight Bargainer
Justin Jones
Bernard Frost
USA Point Fight Jr. Boy 13-17 years
Point Fight Mens Team Blue
Point Fight Mens Team Red
USA Point Fight Women’s Team
Richard Plowden
Harris Edwards
Jeff Bryant
Christopher Gorham
Travis Button
Alex Tucker
Sidney Shields (2)
Maurice London
Samuel Crocker (4)
Katherine Simms
Nicole Gerdes (2)
Avery Behr (3)
Cullen Jordan (3)
Michael Weingartz
Katie Murphy
Kimberly Harrison
Charles Rice
Kris Pilgrim
Karrie Simms
Team USA

Portugal 2010


The atmosphere was electric and the format was simple. There would be five fights and whichever country wins the majority of the matches wins the contest. If both teams have two wins each and one tie, then the total number of points scored is tallied. If you are still even, the last two fighters face off in an one minute overtime. This scenario is exactly where Team USA Blue found itself versus Team Ireland. Fans of both sides screamed themselves into a frenzy as Ireland pulled off a dramatic victory. While disappointed, members of US squad held their heads high because they knew that they had participated in one epic battle. Team Ireland would move on to dethrone Canada as the Men’s Team Fighting World Champion. The Americans sporting bronze medals were: Team USA Blue - Troy Binns, El Java Abdul-Qadir, Ricky Murray, Eric Ross, Sergio Brandon/Team USA Red - Justin Jones, Bernard Frost, Gamal Byfield, Charles Rice, Philip White.


Displaying true American valor was 12 year old Sarah Morris from Missouri. Ill from two days of an upset stomach and a visit to the hospital for an IV because of dehydration the night before her gold medal match, Morris was determined to fight. Her weakened state affected her performance, but no other athlete had more heart en route to her medal stand appearance than Sarah Morris, world silver medalist.


One cannot tell by the names if Titus-Button-Shields-Crocker aka the "Tribe of Five" are martial artists or a recording group. Lead by competitor/WKC official Sean Titus, this group prepared for Portugal by training together in Titus' barn in rural Kansas. Hard work paid off as the crew of Cheyenne Titus, Sidney Shields, Sam Crocker, Travis Button, and Sean Titus left Portugal with a total of 14 medals. One can only imagine their total if Tyler Titus, a team member who suffered a broken leg right before Portugal had been able to compete. With their type of talent, odds are the Tribe of Five can blow a tune or two also.


Kris Pilgrim traveled from Colorado to Portugal on a mission. Each gold medal fighting contest involves two, two minute rounds. During the world championships Pilgrim advanced to the gold medal round in six, yes six sparring divisions. Being an individual with life experience, Pilgrim competed in light contact and semi contact sparring divisions in a variety of age groups. After 12 rounds of sparring in a short time span, Kris “Iron Woman” Pilgrim had three gold medals and three silver medals to take back to the high altitude of Colorado, along with a silver and bronze in weapons and a bronze medal in team sparring.


Having experienced the first WKC World Championships and won gold, Kansas' Kim Harrison had concrete goals in 2010. However in preparation for Portugal she suffered a major back injury that impeded her ability to train. With travel arrangements already made, Harrison acquiesced to officiate and coach the litany of students going to Portugal from her instructor David Clifton's American Sport Karate School. However, days before boarding the plane, her doctor cleared her to compete. Harrison took advantage of the opportunity gleaning gold medals in four divisions and also literally taking one for the team and participating in women's team sparring against better judgment. When opportunity knocked, Harrison came punching and kicking.


In martial arts circles, Bill Wallace has the name “Superfoot” because of his amazing kicking prowess. In the WKC USA however that moniker this year goes to junior fighter Christopher Gorham. A driven competitor, Gorham is determined to fight as much as possible. At the world championships during junior team fighting he injured his foot. Coming from a family of black belts dad, Scott; mom, Dawn, and sister Stephanie; Chris displayed indomitable spirit in finishing his match. The next day he first hobbled out in Korean forms taking a bronze medal, and during his gold medal match, Gorham tried to hide his injury but in the end his movement was hampered and he settled for a silver medal for the second year in a row. It was only after returning home to Waterford, Michigan where the full extent of his injury was diagnosed……a broken foot.


It is a good thing probably that New York’s Troy Binns was in his own world prior to bowing in against his Belgian opponent in his divisional semi final. Binns’ opponent’s coach stood behind his fighter pointing and hissing loudly at Binns. When informed of the ritual after winning the bout, Binns commented that he was happy that he was oblivious to the tactic because it would have ‘weirded’ him out. After becoming the first American adult male to win a World Kickboxing Council World title in our two year history, Binns stated that he hoped the spell did not have some delayed affects.


Morgan Plowden harbored a bit of jealousy when her dad and brother attended the first WKC World Championships in Ireland. However, Morgan's priorities at the time were a bit different as she was on the roster as a pitcher for a Division 1 college softball team. After a year and a half of playing college softball, Plowden made a phone call to her dad informing him that she no longer had a passion for the game she had excelled at since age nine and wanted to focus on school and......tournament karate. In her first full year on the national/international scene, Plowden won a number of grand championships and first places, culminating with her first WKC world title in Portugal. Now having an inherited passion for sport karate, Plowden scoffs when her dad suggests giving pitching one more go. "It was a relaxing get away for me, and she was very good," Richard Plowden said. Yes, but in the WKC world she is pretty good too.


Having qualified for the first WKC World Championships in Ireland, Michigan’s Michael Weingartz suffered a set back days before leaving for the land of the four leaf clover. While driving home from work, Weingartz was hit with a heart attack derailing his championship mission. In 2010 however, fully recovered Weingartz took Portugal by storm winning four gold medals in his forms and weapons divisions. His is truly a story of divine intervention.


For many making it to Portugal was a blessing. For Detroit's Charles Rice the blessing is waking up every morning. Rice began his martial arts training in 1971 with the legendary Isshinryu Master Willie Adams. His perseverance paid off being awarded his black belt in 1988. These accomplishments pale to the rest of the road that he took to the WKC World Championships. In 1997 when working in Detroit for one of the big three automakers Rice was a building story in the air, approximately 20 feet up fueling a truck. The truck's driver fell asleep and when awakened by an alarm, drove forward causing Rice to tumble to the concrete below. This occurred at 3:00 am and Rice was not found unconscious until 11:00 am. The prognosis was not good but Rice persevered to not only return to karate training, but also competition. Rice's next battle came in 2008 with a cancer diagnosis. After undergoing treatment, Rice entered 2010 on a mission. His journey and zeal for life brought him to Portugal where Charles Rice left with two silver and two bronze medals.


In most circumstances we will all admit that experience has its advantages. Don’t try telling this to New Yorker Michael Bouyea. Michael came to Portugal with only nine months of total martial arts experience. Using strategy often displayed on a chess board Michael picked his opponents apart in route to a gold medal finish. One can only wonder how good World Champion Michael "Check mate" Bouyea will become as he pursues competitive excellence.