Karate kids, Part 2

Six mem­bers of a 10-per­son P.E.I. team re­turn from in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment with medals

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY CHARLES REID

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.”

For more, con­tact at peikarateteam@gmail.com.

CHARLES REID/THE GUARDIAN

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.

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