Left to right: Canadian karate champions Karim Abu Khadra, Billie Flint, Lando Ball, Kyra Abu Khadra and coach Marwan Abu Khadra. (Tom Best photo)

Left to right: Canadian karate champions Karim Abu Khadra, Billie Flint, Lando Ball, Kyra Abu Khadra and coach Marwan Abu Khadra. (Tom Best photo)

Smithers dojo captures quadruple gold

Four local youth and one adult top their divisions in national championship competition

Smithers might be a small community, but it keeps on turning out high level competitors and champions in a wide variety of sports.

While one might think of athletes from the north as being top candidates for a traditional sport such as hockey, the range is actually wide and appears to be broadening. Recently, for example, four members of the Shogun Dojo in Smithers kicked, punched and blocked their ways to the top ranking in the country as they took top spots in their divisions at the Canadian World Karate Union Championships.

The competition featured a wide range of youth and adult athletes. Local youth competitors Karim Abu Khadra, 17, Billie Flint, 10, Lando Ball, 12, and Kyra Abu Khadra in the adult division, all fought their way to the top of the podium.

The winners of the national championships are eligible to attend the world championships in Berengz, Austria in October.

This was not outside the expected by Marwan Abu Khadra, the head instructor-coach-teacher at the Shogun Dojo located in Smithers. Khadra is an experienced karate enthusiast whose seventh degree black belt has been wrapped around his waist so long that it seems more grey than black. Over the past few years, he has consistently produced national champions who have gone on to top results at the international level.

Abu Khadra has a philosophy that the sport is not about short-term results that may occur through participation in the sport but rather the long term benefits that involvement can bring. These include both physical and mental fitness. He feels that this traditional activity is not just about winning and losing at tournaments, but, far more importantly, about the benefits obtained by the change in an individual’s thought processes that will bring so many positive changes to their life on a daily basis.

At his dojo, there is a range of martial arts on offer as well as a variety of fitness-oriented classes.

He has coached and competed at a very high level and a mere peek into any of his classes will provide a demonstration of the respect that his students hold for him.

While many will think of karate as just another martial art with a lot of punches, kicks and perhaps a block or two, there is much more. The martial arts include forms such as karate and taekwando, which have those skills as a major part of the sport, but there are also forms such as judo and jiu jitsu that incorporate throws, chokes, holding techniques and arm locks. Each form tends to have very specific rules for how these may be applied in competition.

In WKU karate, there are a variety of forms of combat that test and demonstrate the participants ability in different circumstances.

There are also the kata, which are very specific forms of techniques that must be demonstrated in competition and in testing situations.

According to Abu Khadra, perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of these sports is there are many different factions which govern how they are run. Quite often these various blocs do not work well together and while someone might be considered a black belt in one group, for example, they might not have the same ranking in another group.

While not all of the recently named Canadian champions are planning to attend the world competition, there is plenty on the slate to keep them busy. Karim Abu Khadr, for example, has been named to the national squad which will go up against the Americans at a tournament coming up in the near future.

The martial arts have become popular activities worldwide and are becoming sports included at the Olympics. Western sports greco-roman and traditional wrestling as well as boxing have been included on the program since the modern Olympics have returned but it was not until 1964 that judo made it’s appearence. Taekwando made it’s debut in 2000 while karate is set to be contested at the 2020 games in Tokyo.

sports@interior-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Two participants demonstrate the flexibility and timing needed for advancing in the sport of karate at a recent pratice session at Shogun Dojo. (Tom Best photo)

Two participants demonstrate the flexibility and timing needed for advancing in the sport of karate at a recent pratice session at Shogun Dojo. (Tom Best photo)

Kyra Abu Khadra lands a reverse kick on Karim Abu Khadra as coach Marwan Abu Khadra looks on. (Tom Best photo)

Kyra Abu Khadra lands a reverse kick on Karim Abu Khadra as coach Marwan Abu Khadra looks on. (Tom Best photo)

Just Posted

Dave Livesey, right, has been elected as Telkwa councillor defeating Klaus Kraft (middle) and Erik Jacobsen. (Interior News composite photo)
Dave Livesey elected to Telkwa council

Livesey received 60 votes to Klaus Kraft’s 51 and Erik Jacobsen’s 34 in preliminary results

Smithers Local Health Area reported just one new case of COVID-19 from Feb. 14-20. (BC CDC graphic)
Local weekly COVID infections drop to one

The Smithers Local Health Area (Houston to Witset) reported a single case between Feb. 14 and20

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Smithers Weekly Police Blotter: Feb 12 – 19

Smithers RCMP open 83 new files including 15 property crime cases

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read