Lacombe Karate and Kickboxing recently sent their pupils to the Western Canadian Karate Championships in Red Deer.
“Out of all the clubs that came from Western Canada, we had the most students for the fifth year in a row,” Clint Robison said, adding that winning is not the only purpose of his athletes competing.
“I don’t necessarily care how well they do as long as they participate, try and get learning experience,” he said.
The event includes Kata – which are forms – and sparring for each division and each competitor gains points throughout the competition.
In sparring – the winner is chosen from a series of one on one competitions.
“They get used to sparring each other in class all the time, so now they are going against other kids from other dojos and different styles of martial arts,” Robison said. “They can actually see what we have been teaching them and whether it’s working. If it is – then great; if not – that’s fine too as long as they learn, fix their corrections and get better for the next one.”
The competition can wreak havoc on the nerves of young competitors, however Robison explained they usually are glad afterwards.
“A lot of them are nervous before going, especially the ones that never do it,” he said. “Everybody gets nervous, that’s what makes us human. So when you go in front of people, it doesn’t matter if you are a best man at a wedding to do a speech – you are going to be nervous. It doesn’t matter, go ahead, try it, do it and you will surprise yourself.
“A lot of times they win a medal and come running up to me and they are super pumped. It is a huge confidence booster.”
He added, “They were not in their comfort zone but they tried it and overcame adversity.”
This year, Lacombe Karate and Kickboxing awarded Zak Robinson with Student of the Year.
“This year we had one of our students who has only been doing it for two years and has already reached his blue belt, and without me knowing, at a previous tournament entered himself into three different black belt divisions. I have never seen that before. He didn’t win. He held his own but no one would typically do that so we had him come up and we awarded him Student of the Year. That was a highlight of the tournament.”
Robison explained that Robinson is a fine example of what competing is all about.
“It shows that it is not just about winning. It’s going in there and testing yourself to be the best. Most people get upset if they don’t win something but we make it clear it is not about winning trophies – it is about going in there,” Robison said.
Mini PeeWee 6- to 7-year-old boys:
Julian Smith- Bronze Medal in Kata; Easton Amundson – Gold Medal in Sparring; Jude Brown – Silver Medal in Sparring; Roman Thorn – Bronze in Sparring
Mini PeeWee 6- to 7-year-old girls:
Vivian Lovell – Bronze Medal in Kata
PeeWee A 8-9 boys:
Mason Corbett – Gold Medal in Sparring
PeeWee A 8- to 9-year-old girls:
Tekoa Solowoniuk – Gold Medal in Sparring; Maelia Banbury – Bronze Medal in Sparring; Mya Sinclair – Bronze Medal in Kata
PeeWee B 10- to 11-year-old boys:
Devin Allarie – Bronze Medal in Kata, Silver Medal in Sparring; Ethan Sonnenberg – Gold Medal in Sparring
Junior A 12- to 13-year-old boys
Brendan MacRae – Bronze medal in Sparring; Liam Lougheed – Silver Medal in Kata; Korbin Adams – Silver in Sparring; Joshua Abel – Silver Medal in Kata; Jaydyn Shandro – Bronze Medal in Sparring; Jaxxon Shandro – Silver Medal in Sparring; Quin Dorn – Silver Medal in Sparring
Junior A 12- to 13-year-old girls
Darby Fitzgerald – Gold Medal in Sparring, Bronze Medal in Kata; Sarah Pollock – Gold Medal in Kata
Junior B 14- to 16-year-old boys
Nash Pala – Bronze Medal in Sparring
Junior B 14- to 16-year-old girls
Jerrica Shandro – Gold Medal in Sparring
Mens 17 and over
Zak Robinson – Bronze Medal in Sparring, Bronze Medal in Kata
Executive Women 35+
Sherri MacRae – Silver Medal in Kata
Executive Men 35+
Victor Hug – Bronze Medal in Kata, Silver Medal in Sparring
Kickboxing Advanced Heavyweight
Mitchell Soloway – Bronze Medal
Modified Muay Thai Advanced Heavyweight
Mitchell Soloway – Silver Medal