Miller Theatre hosts international kickboxing competition

By Loey Hudson |

National kickboxing tourney competitors include: Top, Gary Settles, Wes Sullivan, Kendrick Abney Judah, Jamon Cooke, Cody Day. Bottom: Kiersten Blyzniuk, Melissa Whitley, Adam Poore, Jonathan Glynn, Mark Greubel. (photo by Loey Hudson)

The World Association of Kickboxing Organization held the Stars & Stripes National Tournament at the Miller Theater in Augusta on Aug. 25.

The main event of the night featured three fights between Team USA and Team Australia. Gyms from Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois, Minnesota and Hawaii were all present, bringing their top competitors.

Mark Greubel, the owner of Greubel’s Mixed Martial Arts and coach of the United States WAKO team, helped plan the event to bring something new to the area and to look out for new talent for Team USA. It was the first event of its kind in the newly renovated Miller Theatre. Greubel, who has been in the sport for 32 years after studying taekwondo and karate, takes his sport very seriously and finds great purpose and truth in the art.

Jamon Cooke (L) versus Travel Boone (R) in K1 Style. Cooke was a wrestler in high school and has been kickboxing for more than four years. (photo by Loey Hudson)

Greubel’s Gym considered the event a success with a lot of his fighters taking home victories.

The main event of the night was WAKO Team USA Kickboxing versus the Australian WAKO Team. “WAR” Adam Poore, a local standout and three-time WAKO champion, took home another belt Aug. 26 against Aussie Nader Salah. Poore began kickboxing nine years ago after discovering he had a “good, hard kick”.

Adam Poore (L) versus Nader Salah (R) in the K1 Style event. (photo by Loey Hudson)

Another local competitor, Wes Sullivan, was also a highlight of the event. Sullivan made his tournament debut to a large hometown crowd, drawing a lot of chants and noise from the audience. Sullivan won his first match during the day events making it through to the evening where he lost. Sullivan has been training for five years as a fun exercise and his competitive nature brought him into the ring.

“I think fighters have a high respect level,” Sullivan said about his inspiration.

Wes Sullivan (L) takes on Brandon Abiva (R) in Low Kick Style. (photo by Loey Hudson)

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