Famous Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes and martial arts legend Hwang Jang-Lee will not be in Barbados this weekend but noted American actress Cynthia Rothrock will be in action at the 13th annual Pan Caribbean International Martial Arts Games.
Professor Christopher Francis, the brainchild behind the annual event along with Dr. Kevin Hufford, revealed the news this morning during a press conference held at Island Inn Hotel.
According to Francis, Snipes, renown for his 1993 role in Demolition Man and Japanese-born martial artist Jang- Lee famed for his part as Thunderleg in the 1978 film Drunken Master were both unable to leave China in time for the two-day event.
The Games which began 2005 in Trinidad and Tobago and has attracted some of the biggest names in Hollywood over the years including veteran actor Sylvester Stallone of Rocky fame will be hosted in Barbados for the next three years.
Trinidadian born Francis disclosed that it cost over US$10, 000 which is TT$70, 000 to host the event and was pleased with the support as organisers try to bring about a cultural exhibition while raising the standard of martial arts especially in the region and boost sports tourism.
“I am happy with the support I got from the martial artists who came and made plans. As the host of this event, I have given Barbadians the opportunity to sit among themselves and plan the event, so they feel part of what we are doing. Financially, I am praying to Jesus every day because I owe almost seventy thousand dollars in Trinidad to host this event. It cost more money here [in Barbados] than in Trinidad [to host the event],” Francis said.
A championship crown will be up for grabs, and Francis who is a grandmaster in Ju-jitsu has urged all Barbadian martial artists to get involved.
Tomorrow begins with a two-hour certification seminar entitle the “Winning Edge” that will focus on the scientific aspect of the sport from 1p.m. to 3.p.m. at the Springer Memorial Secondary School.
World champion Tony Morrash and Rothrock who holds black belts in seven disciplines will be among those conducting the session, and everyone including children can register at the cost of BDS$50. Ninth degree black belt holder in Ju-Jitsu Frank Degourville will sponsor the first teenager and adult.
On Sunday, October 14, 250 participants in 125 divisions will compete for a total of five grand championship crowns commencing 9.a.m. at the Wildey, Gymnasium. Among the disciplines on show will be taekwondo, Ju-Jitsu, grappling and open kata [sparring] along with two additional categories which are the jumping front and flying sidekicks.