Karate kids, Part 2
Six members of a 10-person P.E.I. team return from international tournament with medals
They’re giddy, full of smiles and slightly mischievous during the interview and photo shoot.
And you might be to if you’d just returned with medals from an international event.
Six members of a 10-person P.E.I. karate squad did just that at the recent Tsuruoka nationals, bringing home from Kansas City, Mo. – a combined 11 medals broken down into three gold, six silver and two bronze.
For Evan Goss, 12, who won silvers in kata and karate, the tournament was equally fun and nerve-racking.
“It was scary as heck, but it was amazing. (My biggest fear was) that I was going to break my arm fighting),” said the Fort Augustus native. “I fought OK, not as good as I wanted.
“I kicked a guy in the elbow and kind of hurt my foot.”
The Tsuruoka is a youth karate (fighting), and kata (synchronized movements done as a team) tournament is held every two years. It draws competitors from across North America.
This year, the Cornwall and Stratford karate clubs sent a 10-person team with seven fighters and three officials to Missouri.
And it provided plenty of fun and fire as the six agreed one of Zak Gilmore’s fights was the most intense.
Tied at two points apiece, next point won and it came down to the last punch, said Gilmore, who earned gold in fighting and silver in kata.
“We were clashing and blocked him, did a reverse punch in the body and that was the fight right there. We were pretty evenly matched,” said Gilmore, a Cornwall native.
Tsuruoka karate is a martial art founded by Canadian sensei Masami Tsuruoka. His namesake event rotates between Canada and the United States. Ontario hosts in 2019. New
Brunswick hosted in 2015 as P.E.I. did a decade ago.
Shaylynn Ford, 13, of Cornwall, wasn’t there for 2015, but she said she’d gladly return for the 2019 event if only to correct a mistake made in her medal match.
“Yes. I was nervous, but it fun,” said Ford. “In the last point I started being really aggressive. Basically, I should have been that way at the start of the match. The other person was really tall and it was hard to get in.”
Winning the other medals were Taylor Goss, 14 (Fort Augustus, gold in fighting, silver
in kata), Sam Barrett, 12 (Charlottetown, gold in fighting, bronze in kata) and Raven Skyllas, 16 (Cornwall, silver in fighting, bronze in kata). Also part of the team were Cornwall club member Harper Hippenstall, official David MacQuillan (Cornwall) and Cornwall club sensei Stephen Degrace.
In 2015, the P.E.I. contingent in New Brunswick tallied 17 medals and awards from 15 competitors so Stratford sensei Kirk Dalziel was expecting similar results.
He got that from them, but the team got something more from the event than hardware.
To Dalziel, who’s been sensei of the Stratford club for eight years, those experiences at the Tsuruoka are worth their weight in gold and silver and bronze.
“I was pretty confident they would perform as well as they did, the medals were a bonus. It’s about continuous training and working to do the best they can, working to be better,” said Dalziel. “We told them karate is not about being better than the other guy, it’s about being better than they were the day before.”
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Members of the Stratford and Cornwall karate clubs show off their medals won at the recent Tsuruoka nationals in Kansas City, Mo. The six were part of a 10-person P.E.I. contingent at the bi-annual event. Front row, from left, are Evan Goss, 12 (Fort Augustus, silver in fighting, silver in kata, 12-13 boys intermediate), Taylor Goss, 14 (Fort Augustus, gold in fighting, silver in kata, 12-13 girls intermediate) and Raven Skyllas, 16 (Cornwall, silver in fighting, bronze in kata, 16-18 girls intermediate). Back row, from left, is Shaylynn Ford, 13 (Cornwall, silver in fighting, 12-13 intermediate girls), Sam Barrett, 12 (Charlottetown, gold in fighting, bronze in kata, 12-13 boys intermediate) and Zak Gilmore, 14 (Cornwall, gold in fighting, silver in kata, 14-15 boys intermediate). Also part of the team, but not pictured are Cornwall club member Harper Hippenstall, official David MacQuillan (Cornwall), Cornwall club sensei Stephen Degrace and Stratford club sensei Kirk Dalziel.