5th Annual Victoria Cup Karate Tournament

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Head kicks a plenty during youth point-fighting divisions Don Osborne Photography

On April 25, 2015, the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) at Camosun College Interurban campus played host to the 5th Annual Victoria Cup Karate Tournament. Directed by local karate instructors Hanshi Masanobu Kikukawa and Renshi Greg Turnbull, this year’s event featured over 100 competitors from Vancouver Island and the lower mainland.

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L to R:  Renshi Greg Turnbull, Shihan Mike Lilley, Shihan Paul Turner,Sensei Erin Halstad-McGuire, Hanshi Masanobu Kikukawa  Don Osborne Photography

In attendance were special international representatives from the WYKKO (World Yoshukai Karate Kobudo Organization): USA WYKKO Presidents Kaicho Hiroaki Toyama & Kaicho Mike Culbreth and Yoshukai Japan Vice-President Fuku-Kaicho Nobuyuki Matsumoto. Local long-time karate instructors Mike Puckett, Kurt Nordli, Frank Clayton, Sukwinder Manhas, Don Shapland, Pat Byron, Chris Barclay, and Carl Scott were also at today’s event providing their support and officiating expertise.

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Competitors and officials raise theirarms in the shape of a “Y” in support ofYoshukai founder Soke Katsuo Yamamoto   Don Osborne Photography

The Sheung Wong Hung Fut Kung Fu Lion Dance team kicked off the opening ceremonies which also included a group gesture, “Y for Yamamoto” to ailing Yoshukai founder Soke Katsuo Yamamoto. Soke Yamamoto was unable to travel to Victoria as he is currently in the fight of his life battling cancer back in Japan. Hanshi Kikukawa on behalf of Soke Yamamoto presented Kaicho Mike Culbreth with his 8th degree black belt, and local Yoshukai members also received black belt rankings: Greg Turnbull (4th degree black belt) and Arlin Ablaza (2nd degree black belt).

The morning’s competition started with Raj Basi from Canada’s Best Karate (CBK) taking 1st place in adult black belt kata while Ethan McKenna, also from CBK, took the gold in junior black belt kat,a and Paul Turner from WYKKO in South Carolina won the senior black belt division. Weapons kata divisions featured wins by Nick Graves from Yoshukai Canada in adult short weapons, Kyoka Shapland from Chilliwack Tenshinkan in junior black belt short and long weapons, and Paul Turner once again taking 1st in senior long weapons.

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Head kicks a plenty during youth point-fighting divisions Don Osborne Photography

Another feature of the morning’s events included kata and point-fighting divisions for special needs competitors. The brain-child of local instructor Nancy Puckett, 6 competitors bravely stepped forward in front of the supportive crowds to demonstrate their abilities and inspire others facing the same challenges to do the same.

The afternoon saw the sparring competition in 3 categories: point-fighting, full-contact, and “bogu kumite”. Similar to the morning events, Canada’s Best Karate students Raj Bassi took 1st in adult point-fighting and Ethan McKenna took 1st in the junior black belt division. David Lee, from Puckett’s Noble House of Karate, placed 1st in both black belt full-contact and bogu kumite divisions. All competitors showed good fighting spirit and technique along with good respect towards their opponents.

Overall, the event was a success with competitors and spectators providing positive feedback to the tournament organizers.

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