Martial Arts World Champion Instructs In M.V.

World champion Walter Vital (left) and Hugo Leite (right) do a demonstration during a three-hour martial arts seminar held at the Old Overton Gym last weekend. PHOTO BY NICK YAMASHITA/The Progress

Moapa Valley played host to a world champion last weekend. Walter Vital, 3-time International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation champion came to the Old Overton Gym for a martial arts seminar hosted by the Western Tang Soo Do Federation on Saturday, November 13.

The seminar was part of a bi-annual event hosted by Western Tang Soo Do Federation. Bledsoe Tang Soo Do Karate hosted the event as Master Monte Bledsoe was the lead black belt, being a 9th Degree Black Belt in Tang Soo Do Karate.

The event brought in over 60 martial artists from all belt ranks and levels to the small community from Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and other states. The event started off with training in warm-up drills and stretching at 8:00 am and then leading into weapons forms instruction with the bo staff and nunchaku.

Mr. Brad Solomon of Solomon Karate from Eagle Mountain, Utah, instructed in the nunchaku form. Solomon grew up in Overton, Nevada, and is the son of Stan and Shirley Solomon.
“It is good to be back here and see everyone,” stated Solomon.

After the weapons workshops, there was instruction in open hands forms which were divided into three levels including Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. After the instruction of forms, the participants were treated to demonstrations performed by each school and as well as some friendly competition in forms by several of the students.

In the afternoon, Vital with help from one of his students Hugo Leite, began his instruction. Vital and Leite come from Las Vegas where Vital has one of 30 training studios.

The workshop included basics in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills and methods and lasted about 3 hours.
“I loved it,” said Josiah Huwe, a local yellow belt from Under the Mountain Martial Arts Academy. “It was so much fun.”

“I really learned a lot and those guys are awesome,” added Savannah Howard, a Black Belt of Bledsoe Karate from Las Vegas.

Vital is a 4th Degree Black Belt who has more than 26 years of teaching and competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has built one of the top teams in all of North America in the sport. His accolades include 14 times Pan American Medalist, 13 times World Medalist, 4 times Abu Dhabi Pro World Trials Champion, 3 times IBJJF World Champion, 9 times IBJJF Vegas Open Champion, and has five MMA victories by submission in the first round for all five fights.

“I really like it here,” said Vital. “More than I expected and I really appreciated the environment. Everyone was respectful.”

The conference ended with a pizza party at Bledsoe Karate located at Quail Hollow Farm in Overton with good conversation, a raffle of martial arts prizes, and homemade brick oven pizza.

“It was a very good day and we had a great turnout,” stated Cynthia Nelson (Black Belt and one of the coordinators of the seminar). “Now we can’t wait until the next one.”

Thanks were expressed for all of the support given and those who helped make this seminar a huge success. Also a special thank you to Walter Vital and Hugo Leite for coming and teaching everyone the amazing art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Self-Defense.

For more information about the Western Tang Soo Do Karate Federation visit their website at