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Story and Photos by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
(www.allsportmedia.ca )

Victoria (ISN) – Hosted by Hanshi Manaobu Kikukawa and the Okinawa Shorin-ryu Karate Shinkokai dojo, the 2nd Annual Victoria Cup 2012 Open Karate Tournament took place Sunday at PISE and showcased top local competitors in the field of the modern martial art Yoshukai-Ryu Karate.

With dignitaries such as Sensei Mike Puckett and Hanshi Kikukawa Masanobu in attendance, approximately 85 competitors gave up basking in the warmth of a spring day to test their metal indoors against each other in kata, Kobudo (weaponry), point sparring, and full contact competition. With all the humility and respect that any true martial art brings, the day could only begin after a competitor’s oath of sportsmanship. 

Flexibilty and timing were essential components to this successful scoring attempt. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

The day’s events would begin with the Kata competition, with centre stage reserved for the Senior Black Belt Division.  Kata – defined, as a prearranged pattern of techniques against imaginary opponents – is to exemplify the fighting spirit and technique without actually having to fight another opponent. Senior Black belt Leslie Weams would take the gold medal in her event demonstrating poise and pinpoint accuracy in her technique for the judges.

Leslie Weams would show focus taking 1st place in the Senior Kata division. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Kata would be followed by the Kobudo division, split into long and short-range weaponry. Spectators were treated to demonstrations of such weapons as sai, tonfa, bo (six foot staff), and katana (sword).  Alan Hong would place 1st in the long-range weaponry with his katana (sword) expertise, while Nolan Chung would follow in 2nd place with his bo kata.

Alan Hong placed 1st in the long weapons kata division Sunday morning at the Victoria Karate Cup – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )


Nolan Chung performs bo kata to take 2nd place in the long weapon division. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )


As the morning’s demonstrations of artful mind and body control came to an end, the approximately 125 spectators, instead of looking for a lunch meal, were afforded a special demonstration by Sensei Greg Turnbull, Hanshi Kikukawa Masanobu and the Yoshukai Karate Canada Honbu Dojo. Sensei Greg would lead a group of black belts through a synchronized display of iaido. Iaido is a modern Japanese art associated with the smooth, controlled movements of drawing the sword from its scabbard, striking or cutting an opponent. Sensei Greg would then demonstrate unarmed defense against the sword wielded by Hanshi Kikukawa Masanobu.

Sensei Greg Turnbull demonstrates defense against the katana attack of Hanshi Kikukawa Masanobu,9th degree black belt. – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

After meals had been digested and bodies reenergized, the mornings slow, rhythmic cadence would give way to the explosive, body-jarring movements of kicks, punches and strikes found in point and full contact kumite (sparring). In the point sparring division black belt Chris Barkely of Saltspring Island would take the gold, while Nancy Puckett of Mike Puckett’s Noble House of Karate would win the silver medal. 


Nancy Puckett of Pucketts Noble House of Karate scores a full point on the contact of competitor Chris Barkley’s head. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Impressive was the fact that children and adults alike would not only demonstrate impeccable control, but also demonstrate a high level of leg flexibility, and mental focus or “zanshin” in their technique that only comes from the careful, knowledgeable sensei’s that guide their path of instruction.  In martial arts, the true path or “Bushido” (warrior way) as they call it, is signified in part by the feeling of fulfillment in everything that is accomplished and by the looks of all the hard-working, smiling faces, both young and old in attendance, the day was a great success for all.

For more info about the Kikukawa dojo, please go to: www.kiku.ca

Karate shows no discrimination as male and female are considered equals and fight as equals as this brown belt takes a shot from his female blue belt competitor. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )