This weekend, more than one thousand karate kids will descend upon Oakland's Marriott Convention Center to do some waxing on, waxing off. The annual West America Regional Martial Arts Tournament is one of the largest of its kind on this side of the continent, needing two full days, eleven mats, and 55 judges to filter out the finest black belts this side of the Rockies. The competition is open, so bring your gi. Just don't pay any mind to the expected three thousand spectators critiquing your roundhouse. In between brawls, martial artists will also perform choreographed routines to music. "There will be a lot of flying and zipping around," says Ray Pruitt, the event's promoter. Emeryville's taiko troupe will be on hand to provide skin-pounding percussion. And Master Tony Chen, a four-time national wu shu champion of China, will also be there to offer a daylong seminar on the martial art form billed as China's "most popular national sport."
A word to the wise: Competitors will want to arrive on their best behavior. According to the rules of the weekend tourney, those who engage in "Swearing, etc., on tournament premises" will be fined $25 for each naughty word. Let's keep it clean, people. Friday and Saturday, June 27 and 28, at the Marriott Convention Center. $15 at the door. 925-820-9612. -- Justin Berton
Can Quakes shake KC?
If Landon Donovan isn't on the pitch for the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday evening (7 p.m.), that may mean the US national soccer football team has done some serious damage in the FIFA Confederations Cup in France and needs the Earthquakes' star forward to play. But the National Team hex goes the same for the visiting Kansas City Wizards, whose midfielder Chris Klein is also on the French trip. In fact, MLS Western Division-leading Kansas City is studded with previously capped players, including forward Josh Wolff (World Cup 2002), veteran goalkeeper Tony Meola, and old reliable Preki Radosavljevic, the left-footed wizard from Belgrade who is also the MLS' all-time leading scorer with 223 points. The Quakes have something to prove to the Wizards -- see them try to regain first place, with or without Donovan, at Spartan Stadium. www.sjearthquakes.com -- Kelly Vance
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