February, March 2018
Well, the 2018 Karate Canada National Championships are in the books. By all accounts it was a huge success from beginning to end. It was the largest Championships ever held with almost 500 athletes from across Canada. A huge thank you is in order to Gary Walsh and all of the local organizing committee as well as the scores of volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure everything went smoothly.
The Nova Scotia team represented us well with 8 medals or so to show for their efforts. For many it was their first Nationals and hopefully they will have gained a lot of experience for next year. From Mukashi Dojo, Doug Chetwynd and Ralph d`Entremont were successful in achieving entry level officiating licenses. They both worked quite a bit considering it was the first time they officiated at this level. Congratulations to both of them.
Following the competition the annual awards banquet was held at the Marriott Harbourfront Hotel. This was followed by the ever popular East Coast Kitchen Party which was headlined by our president, Gary Walsh and his band “In Focus”. The party also featured performances by various karate people from across the country both playing instruments and or on vocals. A great time was had by all.
A few of the highlights of the weekend included : Our own Trysten Deveau with a dominant performance earning three gold medals. My friend, Donald Mazerolle Sensei of Fredrickton new Brunswick was presented with a lifetime achievement award for his many contributions to karate in Canada. And Paul Jimmo sensei announced his retirement after 30 plus years as a national official. We certainly wish him all the best. He will surely be missed. As a side note; Paul Jimmo Sensei will be coming to Yarmouth on June 2nd for the Yarmouth karate Challenge Cup. We look forward to seeing him then.
It is really an exciting time for karate these days with karate being included as sport in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It was also announced that karate will also be included in the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island. Sport karate is very much alive and well and, I would say, on the cusp of some major growth in the next few years. I am looking forward to having karate as a mainstream sport instead of on the fringes as we have been for so many years.
The last week of April will bring the annual visit of Chito-ryu Soke to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Accompanying him will be Higuchi Sensei. The latter is a weapons expert and he will no doubt be building on last years instruction. Soke explained that Kobujitsu (weapons) is part of our martial arts heritage. A part that has been somewhat neglected over the years. In Japan, and around the world, the Chito-ryu membership are working hard to bring this aspect up to par. The type of training we will take part in at this clinic is not sport karate but traditional karate-do. I hope that many of you will make an effort to attend at least some if not all of the clinics offered in your areas.