Eleven competitors from the Fort Frances Wado Kai Karate Club, accompanied by Sensei Becky Kupila, made the trip to the eighth-annual Thunder Bay Wado Kai Karate Tournament in Thunder Bay last weekend, returning with a total of 15 medals.
Tanner Boyer (brown belt, age 15) earned two gold medals for kata (forms) and kumite (sparring).
Bo Boyer (brown belt, age 12) received silver medals for both kata and kumite.
Rowan Donaldson (green belt, age 13) earned two bronze medals, one for kata and one for kumite.
Ember van der Kroef (yellow belt, age 9) was the gold medal winner for her kata.
Allegra Brockie (yellow belt, age 7) earned a gold in the kata competition and silver in kumite.
Lilah Brockie (yellow belt, age 7) brought home a silver medal for kata and bronze in kumite.
Eddie Horton (white/yellow belt, age 12) earned a bronze medal in the kata competition.
Logan Sutton-Byzewski (white belt, age 6) won a gold medal for kata and a bronze in kumite.
Khloe Taylor (white belt, age 7) received a bronze medal for kumite.
Daxxen Batiuk (orange belt, age 14) finished fourth in both kata and kumite.
And Lisa Brockie (yellow belt) competed in the adult kata competition but came home empty-handed.
Brothers Tanner and Bo Boyer, who are brown belts from a Shotokan dojo in Alberta, just joined the Fort Frances club this season and this was their first tournament competing in the Wado Kai style. With four medals between them, they proved their adaptability and skill.
This also was the first tournament experience for several competitors, including Eddie Horton, who was the first member of his family ever to compete in a tournament. He made his family and his Senseis proud by performing his kata with confidence and earning a bronze medal for the effort.
In addition to the tournament on the Saturday, the weekend included two workshops on Friday evening and Sunday morning. Led by some of the top instructors in the Shintani Wado Kai Karate Federation, these workshops provide a unique opportunity for students of all ranks—beginners and elite athletes alike—to improve their skills and gain new insights into the sport.
Those who were able to travel to the tournament shared what they learned with the rest of the club at the regular Tuesday night class.
Anyone interested in learning more about Wado Kai Karate is encouraged to drop by J.W. Walker School any Tuesday or Thursday at 5:30 to try out a free class.
Registrations are accepted throughout the year.