By Lourdes Lynn Igne
While I am writing this, 21 martial arts athletes from Manitoba will be travelling to Ottawa, Ontario to represent our Province at the World Karate Championships (WKC) Canadian National Team Try-outs that will be held on May 17 to 21, 2018 at the Delta City Centre Hotel.
Four of the 21 members of Team Manitoba are from the Winnipeg Sikaran Arnis Academy; myself, my big sister Lee Angela, Sheryl-lyn Padua-Policarpio and Miley Carino. The 21 Team Manitoba delegation will be led by 3 coaches Gerald Wocjeckowski, Chris Bernjack and Kelly Legaspi.
How did we qualify for Team Manitoba? We competed in two WKC accredited Regional Tournaments, one was in March in Weyburn, Sask and the other one was hosted by Bae’s Martial Arts in April in Transcona. Any martial arts competitors in these tournaments who won 1st or 2nd places in their divisions and events secured a spot for Team Manitoba. This signals the continuation of hard work, more training hours, intense practices, lots of reading and understanding the rules governing the prestigious National Tournament. We thank our Masters, Sensei, Instructors and coaches for preparing us for this big challenge ahead of us. And of course our greatest appreciation to our parents, families and friends for putting together the funds for the registration, uniforms, prescribed equipments and the trip itself. All these efforts encouraged and inspired us more to be proud representative and fighting athletes for the Province of Manitoba.
What happens at the Nationals? The divisions are determined by the competitor’s age, weight, height and gender, not by belt rankings. Meaning lower belts (beginners, intermediate and advance) will also be competing against black belts.
There will be 2 rounds for all events; traditional hand forms, creative hand forms, traditional weapon forms, creative weapon forms, point sparring etc. The competitors will be ranked and the ones who ranked Top 4 for both round 1 and round 2 qualify to the next level and become a part of Team Canada! Pretty tough! Reason for this WKC aims to come up with a very strong team to represent our country to come up with a strong team to represent our country Canada for the World Tournament in Dublin, Ireland on October 27 to November 2, 2018.
We have not started our journey as I am writing this story but I am very excited and very determined to do my best in to National Competition rings.