Charissa Thomason (right) blocks a shot from Tracey Moore during a kumite bout at the Friendship Karate tournament Saturday at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.

Charissa Thomason (right) blocks a shot from Tracey Moore during a kumite bout at the Friendship Karate tournament Saturday at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.

Talent on the rise in Chito-Ryu Friendship tourney

Two months of karate training was all Michael Houg needed to shake off two years worth of rust.

Two months of karate training was all Michael Houg needed to shake off two years worth of rust.

Houg won the men’s grand championship during the 2011 Chito-Ryu Friendship tournament held at the Penticton Lakeside Resort on Saturday.

Born and raised in Prince Geroge, Houg recently moved to Peachland to be able to train with senseis Chris Taneda and Mike Ditson. It was an unexpected win for Houg considering the effort needed to be ready.  He praised the work that Taneda and Ditson did with him.

“Things came back quicker than I hoped,” said Houg, who holds a brown belt. “All the people were good. It was a tough match every time.”

His final match was against a Burnaby opponent was closer. At that stage of the tournament, Houg said he was “gassed” and to get through it, he had to compete smarter.

“He’s a pretty big guy (six-foot-three, 200 pounds) and pretty athletic,” said Taneda. “He won both his divisions and then we let him fight in the black belt division and he beat the black belt.”

Houg felt the weekend was excellent and liked that the accommodations were in the same place as the competition. He enjoyed the chance to compete with other karate students in the province as it allowed them to be serious on the mat, then friends away from it as they socialized during a banquet and dance.

“It’s great you can beat a person up in the tournament then later be friends,” he said. “It’s an important aspect of the tournament since it isn’t about results. It’s about togetherness.”

The grand women’s champ was 16-year-old Claire Boothe of Summerland. She defeated Avneet Kaloty of Kelowna and it was Boothe’s debut competing in the women’s division of the Chito-Ryu Friendship tournament. Boothe said it was a good step up and provided valuable experience.

“Being in a women’s division, it’s more competitive and intense,” said Boothe, who began practicing karate at age six.

The tournament also helps her prepare for bigger events.

“It’s good to start out small and then work your way up,” she said.

Leading into the tournament, Boothe didn’t expect to win because she hadn’t trained as much due to other commitments and injury. It was also her first tournament since nationals in March. Boothe said her victory was just a result of things working out as it was a close match with Kaloty, who is her friend. While Kaloty is a year younger, the two fought since Boothe was the only competitor in her age group.

“It was a tough match because she is a strong fighter,” said Boothe, who also officiated during the tournament. “I had to react quickly.”

Boothe enjoyed the encounter with Kaloty because she likes competing against her friends.

“In the end, it brings you closer together,” said Boothe, who respects Kaloty. “You go in and fight hard.”

The tournament for Boothe was about gaining experience and seeing other students from the province. She said it’s great to see faces they don’t often have a chance to

“It’s a great atmosphere,” she added. “The people are friends and are respectful.”

Taneda was impressed with how his students performed as the calibre in participants is increasing. Along with the grand champions, participants were recognized with sportsmanship awards. One went to an autistic competitor from the north while another went to Penticton’s Jackson Tribe. Taneda was impressed by the seven-year-old autistic boy because he was always smiling.


“There were really some outstanding performances,” said Taneda.



Just Posted

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

(File photo)
Additional service coming to two Penticton bus routes

Both service changes were made to meet increased demand over the summer

It's believed the Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Sunday night. (Aileen Mascasaet Maningas)
UPDATE: Two churches on band land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Okanagan Connector to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation recently announced $1 million in funding for the upgrades

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Wild Sky Sisters
Wild Sky Sisters: Cancer Season

Wild Sky Sisters is a joint venture between Angela Moffitt and Tamara McLellan

A pair of Alberta residents were arrested after police responded to a report of a woman who had allegedly been assaulted and confined against her will on June 20, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP arrest 2 Albertans suspected in alleged assault, unlawful confinement

Firearms, stolen items seized including NHL hockey cards believed to be worth thousands

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

A 1969 Barracuda convertible like this one is being refurbished by Rust Valley Restorers and raffled off to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity Kamloops, which includes the Salmon Arm/Shuswap area. (Image contributed)
Rust Valley Restorers’ work will lead drive for attainable housing in Salmon Arm

Habitat for Humanity Kamloops’ Classic Car raffle features ‘69 Barracuda convertible

Motorcyclist critically injured in Westside Road collision

Motorcyclist collides with vehicle, struck by another: preliminary police findings

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Most Read