By Niara Savage
NASHVILLE,TN- On Saturday night, Tennessee State University had the honor of hosting the first ever WAKO (World Associations of Kickboxing Organization) combat event to ever be held in North Nashville. Kickboxing is somewhat of a little known gem in the context of competitive world sports. While it is yet to be declared an Olympic Sport by the Olympic committee, kickboxing is associated with a wide variety of benefits. By training the fighter to strategically channel their energy through psychological exercise, this martial art form can act as an alternative to addiction, aid in aggression control, and bring balance and harmony to a one’s life. As Team USA Coach Walker noted, “We’re not creating fighters, but industrial artists”.
The night began with five thunder card matches between amateur competitors before the professional athletes took control of the ring. Canada’s five best fighters went head to head against the five most skilled members of the U.S. Team. The score was 3-1 in favor of the U.S. when TSU grad Omari Boyd won the final round against top Canadian fighter Adam Weber with a brutal TKO. Omari “The Body Snatcher” Boyd, is recognized as the best fighter in the world, and recently became the first US fighter to medal in the world games when he won a bronze medal in Poland this past July.