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      Tom Sawyer Karate Championships

      Photo Credit: Photo by Justen Arnold

      Many competed to be "the best around" in The Tom Sawyer Karate Championships.

      Competitors came from all over the tri-states and the Mid-west for the 11th annual Tournament.

      It was an open martial arts tournament, meaning karate wasn't the only discipline allowed.

      Close to 200 men and women competed in fighting, kata (kah-tah), and weapons for trophies and medals.

      Competitors ranged in age from as young as three to well in their 60's.

      We spoke to some of the competitors who stay active in the sport for very similar reasons.

      "It think it keeps you young, keeps you active, it helps your self defenses if you need be, and it's just a way to get off the couch," said Bill Pridemore 50 year old participant from Quincy.

      "Why do you like karate so much?" Asked Justen Arnold

      "Because you get to fight," said Amanda Willingham 6 year old participant from St. Louis.

      By the way Amanda won two first place trophies in her age group...Fighting and Katta.