A few weeks ago while photographing another event, I had the opportunity to meet Master Mendez of Kickstart Navasota and he invited me to shoot some images at the 2014 Kickstart State Championship tournament which was being held in Bryan, Texas. I spent several hours at that event and captured hundreds of images of junior high and high school students from all over Texas competing in various events. I was hooked!
It was athletics and dance and sport all combined into one. Yet, it had none of the trash talking and show boating that come with most sports. These kids showed discipline and respect to each other despite punching, kicking, and at times, incapacitating each other. The commitment and determination to their sport was impressive!
So, when Master Mendez invited me to the belt ceremony which was held this past Thursday, I knew I had to be there. Once again I got to see the newly crowned state champion Brazos Elite team, as well as a few dozen other Navasota students, who may one day join that team. The highlight of the night was seeing Miss Morgan Smith and Mr. Arturo Villasenor become the first black belts of the program in Navasota.