LIFTED Competitor Spotlight
Featuring Jason Tankson Bourelly
This time, we’re back with another great Competitor Spotlight featuring none other than Jason Tankson Bourelly – An internationally recognized champion and teacher to many far and wide.
If You’re Not A Fan Already, Meet Our Next Feature
Jason (Tankson) Bourelly… You may see him sporting two last names, and we think it’s pretty cool! Although he doesn’t mind using either one, Jason prefers to represent both family lines.
“It’s an honor to represent both the Bourellys and the Tanksons,” Jason says.
Happily married to his best friend and our first female Competitor Spotlight Feature – Kimberly Stancavage Bourelly, this decorated martial artist speaks fondly of family life.
Jason was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. At 9 years old, in 1989, he began training martial arts under his father – Hanshi Larry Tankson, a legendary martial arts master.
He graduated from Fenwick High School in Oak Park, while shaping his early years as a competitor.
Making your dreams come true…
From boy to man, he is now a 41-year-old 6th Degree Master Instructor in Shorin Ryu Karate. Jason is also a multi-time internationally recognized world champion with experience in Jiu-Jitsu, Kobudo, Tae Kwon Do, Capoeira, and Kickboxing.
If we’ve caught your interest, let’s dig in and see what else this world-class competitor is made of!
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About: LIFTED Competitor Spotlight – Sport Karate Series
As a family of martial artists, we’ve experienced our fair share of tough competitions, and demanding training sessions. Since discovering the amazing benefits of hemp, we have completely altered our approach to health and wellness in and out of the ring.
Now, we’d like to share those benefits with you, so in the spring of 2020, we started a small Hemp-based wellness company called LIFTED, featuring our premium brand of CBD.
In the sport karate series of LIFTED Competitor Spotlight, we decided to sit down and chat with some of the talented athletes that have wowed us with their skills through the years, catch up, and introduce them to LIFTED!
Just as the world dives into this “natural revolution” in hemp and wellness, we are looking forward to being a trustworthy provider of full and broad spectrum phytocannabinoid-rich hemp-based wellness essentials to all bodies in motion.
After several moves across the US and extensive travel on the martial arts circuits as a top-rated competitor, Jason found true love in his best friend and fellow competitive martial artist, Kimberly Stancavage of Mountaintop, Pa.
The young couple breezed through a 2-year romance before taking their vows in the Summer of 2006. (You should see some of their cool wedding photos)
One thing that came across loud and clear in both interviews was the love they share for their son JJ. They recognize it’s quickly becoming a new world for the kids out there.
In this light, both parents are utterly in love with the experience of parenting him and fostering his growth. They also make certain to encourage him to find his own way in this new and uncertain age.
Dad’s favorite pastime…
Really, it’s all about JJ!
Growing Up & Martial Arts
Hanshi Tankson’s lessons played an important role in his stepson’s development as a man, and as a martial artist. One can imagine it had to be tough growing up under the shadow of a martial arts legend like Larry C. Tankson, but Jason was able to find his way.
A Legendary Mentor
Jason’s father, Dr. Larry C. Tankson has studied several different styles of martial arts for over 45 years. Along with an impressive stunt acting career, his mastery includes Shorin-Ryu, Shorei-Ryu, Tae Kwon Do, Jiu-Jitsu, and Kickboxing. Hanshi Tankson is the Founder, Owner, and Chief Instructor at TAC Karate & Fitness Inc on Stony Island Ave in Chicago, IL
As we got into some good ole back in the day “growing up” stories, we stumbled into what ended up as a pretty funny memory about his first experience as a new yellow belt.
It seems going into school to brag about your latest accomplishments wasn’t really the best idea at the time.
Happy Belated Birthday To Uncle Joe!
Some of the fondest memories Jason brought up from childhood was spending time with his uncles Joe & Eddie.
Evidently, the kids in school had other opinions of what he could do with that belt. After getting beat up in class that day, it was obvious to him that he really needed to take those lessons seriously after all.
Did You Know
LIFTED was founded by the first female blackbelt ever promoted to rank at Karate #1, by the late Ozzie Wright III. (RIP Champion)
“Our goal is to make a positive impact in our communities, so we will be planning and working closely with instructors, coaches, and families to help local kids (who otherwise couldn’t) experience some of the phenomenal gifts that are abundantly found within the dojo. – Ms. Tai
As lighthearted as the story was presented, Jason did have to change schools over the incident. But, you could say, it was literally on from there! Talk about a rude awakening.
Moving away from family and more into the competitive life, we asked Mr. Bourelly if he possessed the ability to turn back time, what legendary martial artist would he seek knowledge from? Although the character was familiar, his answer was pretty interesting, check it out…
On Bruce Lee
Jason has an interesting take on how he would approach training with a legendary master such as Bruce Lee. It’s all about the energy!
Jason decided to open up about his 1st competition ever and the story didn’t fail to amuse. There he was 9 years old at a popular Mid-West martial arts event in Chicago Illinois. The stage was set and competitors were ready to put in work for the day. They were giving out gorgeous 6ft trophies for 1st place!
You can imagine this vision was sure to mesmerize any young ambitious competitor looking for a prize that day. Plus, all his peers were winning them, so the expectations were pretty high.
But there are lessons to be learned from our youth…
He recalls, “I took second place. I was so disappointed with that. I mean, I was really upset. I wanted one of those six-foot trophies. So, I went back and I worked harder.” He did eventually get that 6ft trophy, and a whole lot more!
Well, he definitely went back and worked harder! One look at the champions that are Bourelly ONE students, along with his own legacy over the years, is proof of that. In the video above, check out one of his many WCL (World Combat League) wins from a few years ago.
Ever the respectful sportsman, Jason values the lessons learned from each team experience and every individual opponent he’s met in the ring.
As a triple threat (kata, weapons, and sparring) world-class champion all throughout the US and abroad, the list of teams this incredible athlete was a member of, and the competitions he’s dominated over the years is extensive.
A growing family of talented athletes ready to make waves on multiple tournament circuits this upcoming tournament season!
Head coach, Mike Conroy
Winning championships and grand championships for multiple divisions in at least 10 different countries around the globe, Jason has really enjoyed all the traveling.
I have to admit, it really wasn’t easy for him to narrow his feature down, but we tried to manage a few memorable moments, to sum up this strategic competitor for you.
In the above set of videos, we first take you back to the very late 90s. The first time Jason found a team to welcome and treat him like family. This very special one was team Kani. In the next video, he reminisces on his time with team CJB, a dominant force in team sparring in the early 2000s.
The final video goes on to his current and most ambitious team to date, team KTOC. Both the latter teams were coached by a respected mentor and friend, Mike Conroy.
LIFTED Sports Cream Review
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Jason’s Sports Cream Review
Sport Karate Superstar Jason Tankson Bourelly gave us his stamp of approval with a 9 out of 10 for effectiveness. He was both surprised by and loved the relaxed and pleasant mood he felt after the very first try.
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- Cooling and Warming effects of menthol & camphor
- Vegan Formula with Beneficial Organic Essential Oils
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“The CBD, the camphor, what an amazing combination…”
“It’s helped me sleep at night.”
Fun facts about Sensei Jason as a competitor
Favorite of all tournaments?
With Bluegrass Nationals turning out to be the favorite tournament of every person we interviewed so far, it was no surprise to hear the same from our feature competitor this month as well.
- Favorite Center Judge:
- Favorite Team Coach:
Mike Conroy, I can’t get rid of him!
- Best training/competition advice from:
My dad, Larry C Tankson, and Steve Nasty Anderson (RIP)
- Favorite sparring techniques/combos:
I found my own ax kick that took on its own energy. I called it the “alien dream” but the name never stuck. In kickboxing, a back leg round kicks followed by a cross punch.
- Best tournament promoter/event:
Marty Eubanks, Bluegrass Nationals without a doubt!
- Most challenging opponent:
Richard Avery Plowden, He’s not in my age group, but I would love to beat him one day. Why? I fought him several times and I haven’t beaten him yet. Wait, where’s my younger brother…?
- Win or lose, your favorite match you vs who:
Robbie McMenamy from Ireland at The Irish Open! What was exciting about it? You had all of Europe and Ireland on one side cheering against me, and all of the US and Canada on the other side cheering me on. That was really, really powerful!
What was the most difficult thing you ever had to do?
Competition & Covid:
The Diamond Nationals in Minnesota was the last tournament Jason Bourelly and Team KTOC won together as a team prior to the Covid lockdowns.
On a quest to be named the best, many athletes/teams and schools were disappointed as the competition scene was brought to an abrupt close by the nation’s health crisis.
However, some competitors and promotors found a way to carry on.
Much respect to families who have and/are suffering great personal losses of their own.
Since everything slowed down, Jason also got to be an active part of the ongoing action with virtual shows/competitions. If you get a chance, check out Point Fighter Live on Facebook. You’ll find a cool Martial Arts Talk Show hosted by Michael Pombeiro and Jason Tankson Bourelly.
Here’s a link to an episode featuring point fighter Angel Diaz from the East Coast. They also have a great highlight clip of Jason’s ax kicks in action, Check It Out Here!
However, the 2022 tournament season gearing to open up to full capacity. It would be interesting to see if these same online tournament events fade away as another casualty of the current times, or become a more permanent part of the competitive scene.
Our guess is, only time will tell?
Whichever way it works out, we wish all the talented competitors and the event promotors well through the ending of 2021 and on into the fresh 2022 tournament seasons. Many top competitors, younger and older, are excited to get in the ring again.
Others are now exploring different opportunities within the sport. No matter what, it seems like the fighting spirit is alive and well within the martial arts community, among forms and sparring competitors!
Teaching and Seminars
Master Bourelly has trained numerous champions throughout the United States and worldwide. Besides in the US, he has taken his teaching skills abroad on multiple occasions.
Over many seminars he has provided instruction for students in places like Mexico, Greece, Ireland, Canada, Italy, Belgium, Venezuela, and Guatemala, to name a few.
Our students have been working hard with online classes
In the earlier years, both he and Kim had successfully run their own school, Elite Martial Arts, for about 9 years. Since then, they have settled into teaching at what is now known as – Bourelly ONE located at Dance by DiNote, (a reputable dance school in Sewell, NJ.)
With a talk show on Point Fighter Live and future team commitments, it looks like things will be picking up for Mr. Bourelly since lockdowns are coming to an end.
For now, this multi-continental martial arts megastar is going to keep his options open. As a full-time instructor, he will also be busy preparing students for their future events.
We’re sure young JJ will enjoy a fair share of time with his ventures in basketball as well. Good luck to him wherever life leads, and extra good luck with time management to the Bourelly family!
Here are some fun facts about Sensei Jason as a person.
- Favorite Jason’s favorite color:
- His favorite food:
- Favorite drink:
Alkaline water, my mom hates it. She says it tastes slimy.
- A childhood dream that came true:
..all my dreams came true.
- Best memories growing up:
any memories of spending time back in the day with my uncles, Joe and Eddie
- Favorite quote:
“everything is everything”
- Favorite cartoon/movie/tv show:
Tom & Jerry, and Mr. Bean, they don’t talk, I like when they’re just acting. Oh, and The Wizard of Oz, I just love that movie.
- Favorite book/author or artist/musician:
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, as far as music artists Marvin Gaye & Nina Simone – She’s just beautiful on so many levels.
- Best Trait:
being present in whatever/whoever I am involved in, I’m there 100%
- Worst habit:
being alone & getting lost in my own thoughts/obsessions
A final word from our featured champion…
Thoughtful advice for up-and-coming students and competitors on looking within.
Ways to reach Sensei Jason for training or to book seminars:
Visit Bourelly ONE at Dance by Dinote for everything to do with martial arts!
At Bourelly ONE students learn techniques in Shorin Ryu Karate. The available programs include:
- Bees: ages 3 – 6 years old
Basic karate skills, stranger awareness, and fire safety, easy transition into the Karate I curriculum
- Karate I: ages 7 – 12 years old
- Karate II: ages 13 – adult
- Private instruction
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