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)

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Thursday’s blackout likely caused by vandalism

Power was out for 10,000 customers from Quick to the Hazeltons for almost 11 hours

VIDEO: Witset cannabis shop officially opens

The store, located at the gas bar on Hwy 16, is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Police investigate July 2 homicide in Houston

Man succumbed to injuries at Pearson Road residence

Tahltan fighter from Telkwa wins provincial award

Lando Ball recognized for his commitment to and accomplishments in karate and for community service

RCMP patrol of smokehouse sparks concerns by Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader

Hereditary Chief Woos says he is feeling uneasy after RCMP attended the smokehouse with rifles

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read