Gulf Coast Martial Art Championships!

Thank you to so many awesome martial artists that have supported this event over the years!

See Google Map for the location of the tournament

Dates for the 2024-2025 year are:  09/07/2024, 02/22/2025, & 05/03/2025

February 2017 was the biggest turnout to date with 168 competitors and between competitors, spectators, and judges, we had roughly 500 in total attendance!  We follow the public school system calendar.  What this means is there are three tournaments with a Fall, Winter, & Spring.  The Spring Tournament is the final tournament for the competition year.

The tournament is held at Shoal River Middle School and is very easy to find, with three major roadways (Highway 90, Highway 85, & Interstate 10) coming through Crestview.  We are only 30-45 minutes from the beautiful white beaches yet inland enough to avoid the touristy pricing.

Google Map

There will be approximately 72 divisions in sparring, forms, weapons, self-defense, and musical forms!  We will combine or eliminate smaller divisions.

Why Gulf Coast Martial Art Championships? Safe, fun, fair, convenient, efficient, reasonably priced, and great trophies/medals. All with great friends and lasting memories.

Safe: Everyone wears gear. Over 40 tournaments have been hosted, and never an ambulance at our event. Injuries? Sure. Even a couple of fairly serious ones. But they’re rare and we encourage safety over medals/trophies. There’s no prize money, no national championship, and no spot on TV. It’s a fun, family-driven, and family-focused, local tournament.

Fun: See above. When you walk in, you’ll notice how everyone greets everyone. It’s a reunion type atmosphere. If it’s your first time, pay attention to your second time and how you’re welcomed back.

Fair: Rules are posted online at the website, scores are called/shown, and no one is seeded.

Convenient: Crestview is very easy to get to from almost anywhere. We don’t wrap up your entire weekend and Destin is close if you want to get some beach time in before heading back.

Efficient: We do the weapons & musical at about 9AM and are generally done by 10AM for the traditional tournament to begin. This allows traditional competitors to come a little later. Typically done before 3PM. February 2019 and we were done by 140 PM. We’ve been to the three-day tournaments that run all day and not interested in this being one of those.

Reasonably Priced: The same tournament mentioned above was $30 for spectator entrance! Outrageous! We’ve seen $125, $150, $200+ to compete. No thanks. We’ll get you in and out in 3-6 hours for a fraction of the cost and some of the best medals and/or trophies you’ll find. Pictures on the website and on FB.

Trophies/medals: After 30+ years in the martial arts, we’ve seen it all (I think). The trophies with a big car wash logo on the front, trophies about 3-4” tall, trophies that literally broke when picked up, small plaques (with crooked plates to boot), certificates (yes, like off your home printer), and medals the size of an over-sized quarter. We do nice hardware – period.


Starting in 2024-2025 Tournament Year: Competitors must be at the May/June tournament if they’re the Grand Champion for their divisions. Otherwise, they forfeit and the division won’t have a grand champion for that year.

Starting in 2018-2019 Tournament Year: No one can compete in a color belt skill level for more than two years (meaning beginner, intermediate, & advanced).  So after five years (on year six), color belts will need to compete as black belts.

Starting in 2017-2018 Tournament Year:  In an effort to make the tournament run smoother, as with last year, all weapons and musical must preregister the preceding Monday.  You can still pay at the door but need to send in the tournament registration form.  We will start those divisions at 9AM sharp.

Starting in 2014 Tournament Year:   We no longer provide a sound system.  Too many format variations from jump/thumb drives, CD’s, iPhone, MP3 player, etc.   The musical form may include the use of a weapon if you choose.  Judges MUST inspect the weapon before the competition (when your name is called to compete, present the weapon to center judge).  No sharpened blades!