Three athletes from Summerland will compete at an international karate meet in Japan next month.
Jodi Bartier, Marcus Bartier and Takeshi Smith, all members of the Taneda Karate Dojo, will compete in the 12th Internation Soke Cup in Kumamoto, Japan. Up to 500 competitors from around the world will take part in the Soke Cup.
Chris Taneda, head of Taneda Karate Dojo, said the event is normally held every three years for those in the chito-ryu style of karate. This is the style used by Taneda members.
The last time it was to be held was in 2016, but the city in southern Japan was hit by a series of earthquakes earlier that year.
The competition will include kato and kumite events. Kato is a series of movements, while kumite is the fighting style.
“It’s going to be a good championship,” Taneda said.
He said the tournament will also be a good introduction to the city where chito-ryu karate originated, as well as an opportunity for the participants to see Japan.
“The majority have never been to Japan before,” he said.
Smith and Jodi Bartier are both blue belt participants, while Marcus Bartier is a green belt. Since the blue belt designation does not exist in Japan, the two Summerland blue belts will compete in the brown belt category.
Jodi Bartier is looking forward to travelling to Japan with her son for this competition.
“It’s going to be a fantastic experience for us to go away together,” she said.
She added that the competition will be an opportunity for them to compete against those who are also involved in their karate style.
“It will be really interesting to see where we stand in the world,” she said.
Smith, who has been in karate for the past seven years, is looking forward to the competition.
“Being able to compete in our sport, with competitors from around the world, will be a good experience,” he said.
He added that karate has appealed to him because of the sport element and because of the techniques involved.
Marcus Bartier has participated in earlier karate competitions, including the 2016 B.C. Winter Games in Penticton, where he received a gold medal in intermediate kumite.
The three will leave for Japan in early August.