Karate club shines at provincials

Twelve members of the Taneda Karate Dojo won 14 during provincial competition.

Twelve members of the Taneda Karate Dojo won 14 during provincial competition.

Instructor Chris Taneda guided his group during the 2011 Karate B.C. Championship held at BCIT in Burnaby Nov. 26 to 27.    Will Wright was among the medal winners with gold in kata (forms) and a bronze medal in kumite (sparring).

“It was really good,” said Wright of the competition.

Wright was tested in his first match against Jag Sandhu, who is a national champion.

“He was a really good competitor,” said Wright, who lost 5-3.

Wright, who is a green belt, enjoyed the kata because it was different competing in the non-elite division. While the competition was good, it also gave him the chance to spend time with his competitors. It’s the second time that Wright has won a gold medal. His goal is to qualify for the national championship to be held in Richmond. Wright is eager to see what the competition is like as he expects everyone to be strong.

“I was glad to see the competition there (provincials),” he said.

Taneda said Wright upset a competitor who was favoured to do well in the championship.

“He is quite a good athlete,” said Taneda of Wright. “It was more like we expected that from him but others didn’t know who he is, which was to his advantage.”

Other winners were Michela Russo who earned a gold in kata and bronze in kumite. Mike Michaud earned a gold in kata and silver in kumite. Brett Michaud won bronze in kumite. Claire Boothe and Katie Becker both earned gold medals in their kumite events. Coulson Boothe earned two silver in the 18 to 20-year-old black belt division and men’s kumite under 65-kilogram weight division. Jackson Tribe won silver and Taylor Hunter bronze in their kumite events. Anne Ross earned a bronze in kata. Simonka Slizek won her first fight and her brother Jacob won two of his matches before being knocked out of the draw. Koen Buckingham made a strong showing in his kumite division as well.

“I was really happy with the way our group did,” said Taneda.

The provincial championship attracted over 550 competitors.

Tribe, Russo, Boothe and Coulson Boothe have earned an opportunity to compete at the B.C. Team selection tournament in January 2012. Top competitors from the elite divisions will fight for a spot to represent B.C. at the Nationals Black Belt Championships in March.