This month I (Sensei James) would like to nominate Ethan as the Student of the Month for his generosity and humble sportsmanship during his first tournament with the Ontario Karate Federation. For those of you who could not attend October’s recreational tournament or had to leave early before Ethan’s division was up, him and I were watching while another young student was competing. Within this division it is required to be equipped with protective gear and something to distinguish which colour you are (blue – ao or red – aka in karate).
This young boy did not have blue gear or a chest protector. About to be disqualified because of this, I stood up and asked Ethan if we could use his gear and without hesitation he took it off to lend to the other athlete. Because of this, the young boy was able to finish his match without being disqualified.
This is a great example of a true athlete and it is why we do what we do. Great job Ethan!
The day starts with the sun barely up and you begin to make your long drive to the venue. When you arrive you walk through the doors to hear nothing but commotion as each competitor makes their way to compete. And even though you are tired and you know it’s going to be a long day, it is always exciting to be there.
October 22, 2017 marked the first time any of our students would compete on the mats themselves in the recreational division with the Ontario Karate Federation. A longer day for some, but exciting all the same!
First we had our 6-9 year olds compete in kata (a series of moves put into a pattern) and kumite (or sparring). And even though they were nervous, they pulled it off and showed the other competitors they meant business. Afterwards, our 10-12 year old students made it to the mats and managed to make it to the second round. They certainly moved like true athletes.
When Liam went up to compete in the 13-14 year kata, we fell silent. He didn’t just win his first round, or his second, but managed to attain a silver medal. A first for him and our club! Excited, we cheered and a proud mum and dad could be heard across the room.
And that was just a start.
Our second winner was Nick who brought home a bronze in kumite. Our girls Amie, Olivia, and Alyssa also managed to bring home a couple more bronze, silver, and even gold medals in kata and kumite! They were forces to be reckoned with.
But congratulations again to all of our competitors who came out to test their skills and who gave it their all. Thank-you to all of the parents who invested a whole Sunday to cheer on their little ones as well as Jeric and Jamie-lynn (plus Brad!) for coming out to assist Sensei James while we had multiple rings going on at once. To our fellow friends who provided us with the proper equipment when we needed it. It’s great to know everyone is there to support one another. And lastly, thank-you to the organizers/volunteers who managed to pull-off another wonderful competition.
In October, 2017 Shikomu in Burlington hosted another great weekend seminar where we navigated through the analysis of kata in various styles and the application of throws with Sensei Iain Abernethy from the U.K..
About Iain Abernethy (left)
One of the UK’s leading exponents of applied karate, Iain has written a number of critically acclaimed books on the practical application of traditional martial arts and is well known for his work on the pragmatic use of the techniques and concepts recorded in the traditional kata. Iain’s seminars, books, DVDs and articles have proved to be very popular with those groups and individuals who wish to practise their arts as the pragmatic systems they were originally intended to be.
Our dojo’s head instructor, Sensei James, only had the opportunity to attend the second day where they focused on Sensei Gichin Funakoshi’s various throws and their applications.
What we learned
We took the opportunity to learn a handful of throwing techniques and how they are applied on the opponent. From their we worked the pads to help assist working impact of our strikes and then combined both the hand pad drills and the throws to understand their true application. Sensei Abernethy explained to us that our bodies are not built to do everything, that we should choose the techniques that best suit us and become good at them. However, it’s also our job to understand all of the other skills so that we can teach them to someone who may prefer those particular techniques. We can’t be a master of everything but we can at least be competent enough in what we do.
In addition, understanding how each technique is applied also allows us to understand how to avoid them.
We were also told that throws in karate our almost non-existent. We are taught just to punch and kick, but in fact there are a number of them within our martial art. It is our job to practice them to keep them from going extinct.
Training with Iain Abernethy is always a treat as his charisma and passion only motivates you to better yourself as a karate student. His ability to poke fun at himself gives his seminars a lighter charm and leaves you wanting more.
Thank-you again to Shikomu for hosting this event and to Sensei Iain for coming over from the U.K.. We look forward to next year’s workshop.
Sunday, September, 24, 2017 marked the day of many firsts. We participated in the Ontario Karate Federation Elite Level Tournament associated with the World Karate Federation.
Dean, our club’s elite competitor, bravely entered the ring to compete in the Kumite (sparring) division against other young athletic individuals. His division was the 14-15 year old Cadet Boys -57kg. In his first round, Dean’s tenacity brought him up six points against his competitor. Unfortunately within the final few seconds his opponent captured three points bringing him one point above Dean.
We were given a second chance later within the match to rank-up, but after receiving a kick to the inner-thigh the match had ended with our the other competitor advancing.
However with this being Dean’s first time competing at the elite level, his confidence has made us very proud here at Kazoku Martial Arts Centre. We now know what we are up against and will continue to improve our skill level to compete more in the future.
“I was really glad that there was so much support in the crowds today while I competed. I just wanted to let everyone know that I appreciate all of their help and support. And I appreciate the time they took out of their Sunday to cheer on myself and the Dojo. Also, thank you Sensei, for believing in me.” – Dean .M
And a special thanks from us at Kazoku Martial Arts Centre to Shihan Yabunaka and Victoria Rode for guiding us through the tournament, it’s processes, and getting us mentally prepared for Dean’s competition. We would also like to say thank-you to all of the individuals who helped organize the event. Conestoga College for hosting, the organizers at the Ontario Karate Federation, the referee’s, other competitors, and of course ALL of the volunteers who took the time out of their weekend to help run things extra smoothly.
And thank-you to Peter Pakatchian for ensuring we were in the right ring at the right time. His calm focus certainly made it feel that everything was under control.
Kazoku Martial Arts & Fitness Centre
After month’s of driving from Cambridge to Hamilton, to Ingersoll, and back. Going over again and again the same moves to ensure they were correct. Testing myself and relying on my years of experience, I can finally say that I’ve passed the grading requirements and received my Sandan (3rd level blackbelt) this past weekend along with the formal teaching title of Shidoinwith Seiwa Kai Canada.
I can’t tell you all how thankful I am to have had your guidance and your support over the period of time it’s taken me to get this far. And now that I have travelled further along the path, I am really looking forward to showing you all the way towards your own true potential.
Thank-you again to Sensei (Jokyo) Paul and Shihan Yabunaka for showing me what I needed to know and of course everyone else within the Seiwai Association! Thank-you to my students and other club members at Kazoku Martial Arts and Fitness for cheering me on. My family who started me on this path when I turned 11 years old. And most importantly, Jeric for believing in me and making sure I pushed myself hard each and every day to get to where I am.
And to everyone else who’ve been apart of my journey, good and bad. It only motivates me to truly become a better version of myself each and everyday.
Every few months we test our students to see if they are ready for their next belt level. In doing so it gives them the opportunity to learn and grow as individuals. Now as time goes on the belts get darker. But what does this mean? It means we need to deepen our understanding as karate students to become leaders within our community.
How can we become better leaders?
- Be kind to others
- Say please and thank-you
- If it doesn’t look like a good idea, it probably isn’t!
- Volunteer your time
- Listen to what people are saying
- Watch the words you use
- Stay active and choose healthier options
- Be positive
- And always ask questions and be willing to learn new things!
Want to know more about our karate programs? Click this link for details.
We are looking for YOUR support!
Looking to take it to the next level, our students are preparing themselves for future Ontario Karate Federation and World Karate Federation tournaments .
Your donation will go towards new training gear and equipment that will help aid their development within sport karate.
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