A local boy battled his way to the top, taking home a trophy in an international martial arts tournament at the end of June.
Tareq Abu Khadra was named the junior black belt world champion in the team’s first appearance ever at the IMAC World Championships in Las Vegas.
According to Abu Khadra, it was his gameplan that helped him win the second, most intense match against his opponent.
“I was losing 4-0 and then we switched tactics and I started moving forward more and I won 5-4,” he said.
Head coach and father Marwan Abu Khadra said Tareq’s ability to adapt his fighting style to his opponents helped him win.
“[Tareq] was basically losing the second fight and then we changed strategy,” said Marwan.
“For example, if the guy strikes forward, move to the side and that’s what he did two times. Or surprise the opponent with super speed attack, and that’s what we did too and we mixed it up.”
Thomas Gianz placed third in the junior colour belt, while Karim and Kyra Abu Khadra, Ben Gianz and Tristan Hunt also competed in the tournament, but did not place.
Marwan is proud of the team’s first performance at the world championships and said members of the Shogun Dojo Club in Smithers will take home more than just a trophy.
“It is guaranteed life experience,” said Marwan.
The IMAC World Championships is an annual open tournament put on by the International Martial Arts Confederation that brings together martial artists to compete against people from around the world.