Karate dojo kicks way to medals

Facing the top karate athletes in B.C. at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, members of Taneda Karate Dojo won 38 medals.

Facing the top karate athletes in B.C. at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, members of Taneda Karate Dojo won 38 medals.

Taneda Karate Dojo Penticton/Summerland had six double medallists on the Nov. 17 weekend.  Will Wright brought home gold in the boys 16/17 elite kumite and gold in intermediate kata.  Wright said he knew he would have gold as he fought the same opponent the year before.

“I knew what to expect and it was a close fight, 7-5, in kumite,” said Wright.

Motivation for Wright came from knowing he didn’t perform as well as he could have last year. He won bronze in kumite and gold in the non-competitive division. Wright said he has taken positive steps forward.

“My abilities have gone up and I learned a lot,” he said. “Last year was my first competition at the elite level.”

Claire Boothe took gold in elite womens kumite and bronze in 18 to 20 kumite, Jessica Michaud scored silver for girl’s 10 to 11 intermediate kumite and a bronze in kata. Katie Becker took the bronze in 16 to 17 girls intermediate kumite and kata.  Rounding out double medal winners were Jodie Bartier and Rita Becker who both scored bronze medals in masters womens kumite and masters kata.

Bartier, 44, said she was happy with her results. Being a yellow belt, one of the lower ones,  she competed against opponents who wore blue and brown belts.

“I felt really good about it,” said Bartier, who was in her first tournament. “Very challenging and nerve wracking.”

Having joined the dojo a year-and-a-half ago, Bartier said the experience was validating. Bartier only wanted to see how she compared to other competitors. Now she knows what work lies ahead. The biggest challenge for her was patience.

“There was a lot of waiting involved,” she said, adding she waited as long as 45 minutes before her bout.

In the kumite, her second event, Bartier enjoyed that.

“It put me out of my comfort level. Which is good for me,” she said. “Fighting another woman is a different experience for me. It was quite fun. Gave insight to what I still have to learn.”

Also bringing home medals were Takeshi Smith in 12 to 13 boys kumite silver, Taylor Hunter a silver in 16 to 17 boys kumite, Darian Lewis with a bronze in intermediate mens kata, Brett Michaud earning the 14 to 15 elite boys kumite bronze, Jackson Tribe with a bronze in 14 to 15 elite boys kumite and Branden Tutkaluk winning bronze in seven and under boys kumite.

Having a chance for a spot on the B.C. team are Boothe, Rhiannon Jones, Avneet Kaloty, Sukhresh Kaloty, Brett Michaud, Braden Sebastian, Tribe, Sarah Watson and Wright. In addition to medals won in competition, Karate B.C. honoured Taneda Karate Dojo athlete Jessica Michaud with the Junior Sportsmanship Award and Mike Ditson with the Karate B.C. High Performance Coach of the Year award.

The championship featured 500 competitors.