Nine members of the Terrace Shogun Dojo recently competed at the World Kickboxing/Karate Council Nationals in Ottawa May 20 -22.
In what sensei Amber Pipe is calling the best year the dojo has had as a team, seven of the nine contenders qualified at the event and can now represent Canada at the world championships in Cadiz Spain this October.
Pipe and Dalton Stanvick also won gold in their categories for continuous fighting- earning the title of best in the country.
“We are both very proud to hold a Canadian champion title,” Pipe said, explaining the wins are a result of a lot of hard work, dedication and nights spent in at home in preparation for training the next day.
“I truly believe that our (Stanvick and Pipe’s) dedication and goal to be world champions is what made the difference this year,” Pipe said.
There was a lot excitement for the team this year as many of the competitors experienced a national competition for the first time.
Athletes also dealt with changes in weight and age classes, and Mario Furtado made what Pipe calls an amazing comeback after a three-year hiatus from the sport.
Travelling with the group was the youngest competitor Pipe has ever taken to a national tournament: 11-year-old Jenna Hournenburg.
“She has legs that most of us fighters just dream of, she has potential to place in the worlds if she keeps up the hard work and dedication,” Pipe said.
Rajan Sangha, who attended nationals and worlds last year, said this year’s competition was a little different for him as he moved into the ranks of the adults.
“They are a lot bigger, and they hit a lot harder,” he said.
Sangha said one of the best parts about the trip for him was watching
younger and newer fighters compete and show their heart.
Pipe agreed wholeheartedly that team spirit was the highlight of the trip.
“We were united as team mates and everyone was there to motivate, encourage and sometimes give a comforting hug if needed,” Pipe said, adding she is proud of this unity amongst her team.
Pipe said the team enjoyed a bit of a holiday as well, taking in the sites of Ottawa and renting bikes to tour through the capital city.
And while not all of the athletes qualified for nationals, everyone placed high enough in their categories that Pipe believes it is likely everyone will receive the invitation to go given the number of athletes who drop out after the national level.
The athletes plan to travel to Spain with the head instructor from this part of the province, Marwan Abu Khadra, who is from Smithers and was the founder of the Terrace Shogun.