Ghent native Kristjian Bruno has had quite the year on the board breaking circuit.
The 15 year old started 2018 by sweeping at the Keystone State Breaking Championships in Pennsylvania in March and then returned to action in April at the North American Breaking Championships in Connecticut and scored three first place finishes in the 13-17 age division.
This past weekend, the 15-year-old board-breaking phenom competed in the 2018 North East Open at the Capital Center in Albany. The grand breaking tournament in the Northeast attracts competitors from all over the United States and Canada.
The tournament is not just a board breaking championship, but there are also a variety of specialty martial arts competitions.
Bruno competed in two specialty martial arts competitions — self-defense and traditional forms, scoring a first-place victory in the former.
Self-defense is a competition where a participant is given three minutes to perform 3-to-5 self defense sequences. They have to demonstrate each sequence twice, once full speed and once in slow-motion, and they are judged on the effectiveness of the technique, the competitors ability to control their attacker and the situation efficiently.
For Traditional Forms, competitors perform Forms (patters, poomse, kata) traditional to a specific style of martial arts and the forms must capture the essence of classic martial arts movements, showcasing the traditional techniques, stances and footwork of the style. Bruno placed fourth in this event.
From martial arts to board-breaking, Bruno started the competition well by taking first place in the Team Creative Multi-Directional Wood Breaking.
The team consisted of Kristjian and his father Stephen, who were Team Viking.
Team Creative Multi-Directional Wood Breaking is a competition where the participants may set up the maximum number of breaking stations (eight) and each break will be considered one station, as well as simultaneous breaks. The competitors have a maximum of three minutes to set-up, break and clean up the area and are judged on difficulty, creativity, focus and completion of breaks.
Bruno also competed in the Solo Creative Multi-Directional Wood Breaking age 13-17 group and finished in first.
The 15 year old took home first in the Power Hand Wood and Power Elbow Wood age 13-17 group, as well. In the Power Hand, Bruno broke 9 of 12 boards and in the Power Elbow, 11 of 12.
Beyond dominating the competition at the North East Open, Bruno was also the recipient of the North East Open Scholarship, where he had to submit an essay and two letters of recommendation to apply.
As for the rest of the 2018 competing season, Bruno will be participating in the Nutmeg State Breaking Competition and the Hall of Fame Breaking Championships, both in Connecticut.
Beyond that, Bruno will be competing in a special competition this fall. The Bruno family will be traveling to Dublin, Ireland for the 15 year old to compete in the Irish National Breaking Championships on Oct. 13.