verb  dom·i·nate  \ ˈdä-mə-ˌnāt \
1: rule, control
2: to exert the supreme determining or guiding influence on
3a: to be predominant in
b: to have a commanding or preeminent place or position in

Saturday June 23 the troops were gathered, and Diego Bispo Academy went to war. Endurance was called upon; stamina, grit, and a focused resolve to accomplish the goal. When the dust settled and the count tallied the results were, well, staggering!

From the outside looking in one would readily presume that Diego Bispo Academy’s goal had been: “Dominate.” As a team, DBA swept all categories. Dominance was clearly reflected in the 2,390-point delta between 1st and 2nd place for adults and 2,420 points for the kids.

However, the real story starts much earlier. Before the men and women, the children and teens, the individuals clad in red and black skins and others in blue or white Gis, all presented themselves behind the seal of a black-belt eloquently snaked into the initials “D.B.” This unity, this army of both young and wise, stemmed from the continuous promotion of family.

Open mats, where the mat is actually open to all and free of charge, breed trust and acceptance. A professor who pours himself into his students daily taking the time to train with and alongside each of them, leading from the front demands respect, while each member is yoked in the mutual connection of shared effort and exertion.

Community fellowship that leaves the gym and spreads out into activity outside of training furthers healthy relationship and strengthens bonds between teammates. Shared victories and shared defeats, and many hands working together to upgrade and develop the expanding DBA training space instilled ownership and pride.

With each of these connections a tighter union was forged. A union that has quickly been recognized by others, and so the DBA family continues to grow. That is why beyond the shiny, two-handled cup of victory, what we celebrate most is our alliance, our community, our tribe. “Hey, Hey, DBA!”