April 23, 2017 Saanich, BC (ISN) – Local martial arts fans got to see some exciting karate action Saturday as the 7th Annual Victoria Karate Cup, attracting spectators and participants from as far away as Puerto Rico, Florida, and even Japan, descended on Camosun College’s Interurban Campus PISE Gym in day-long competition in a show of martial arts skill, determination, and spirit.
The tournament, co-hosted by Hanshi (master) Masanobu Kikukawa (9th dan black belt), and locally by Shihan Greg Turnbull of Turnbull’s House of Martial Arts and Yoshukai Canada, drew it’s largest competition to date as over 100+ competitors of all ages and martial arts disciplines lined up to register early Saturday morning all with hopeful intentions, vying for gold medal honors in kata (forms), kumite (sparring), and kobudo (weaponry).
The host style, Yoshukai Karate, derives its influence from Chito-Ryu Karate-do and Shotokan as was created by the late Grand Master Katsuoh Yamamoto, who recent passed away in mid-February 2017. The style, recognized as a true martial art in 1963, is now trained around the world.
The tournament opening ceremonies gave way to a morning of Kata and Kobudo competition, considered by many the art of karate. Kata, a series of prescribed techniques against imaginary opponents, tests the competitor’s technique, balance, timing, and fighting spirit. It is to be performed and tested in as close a manner possible to actually fighting without a target in front. Kumite, demonstrating the fighting spirit in friendly competition, would fill the afternoon displaying both point and full contact sparring contests at all age levels.
In one of many highlights of the day, a newly added demonstration division for people with a variety of challenges including physical and developmental took to the floor for fun-filled competition of kata in a display of physical and mental determination. Nancy Puckett, sister and fellow martial arts instructor to longtime resident and notable karate Master Mike Puckett, has much been credited with inspirational work to bring karate activity to those who would not otherwise be considered in mainstream karate circles to participate in the otherwise fast-paced, physical environment.
From beginning to end all were in agreement that the tournament was full of success. With smiles, spirited competition, and congratulatory handshakes and hugs after, the spirit of Budo, which instills among other things, a sense of oneness as family was truly evident and mutual on the day amongst all those that consider themselves a student of traditional karate.