Three martial artists from the Terrace Shogun Dojo fought in a Miami tournament recently, all three claiming gold in continuous point fighting in their categories.
Gavin Colongard seized first in the beginner category and both Robbie Cline and Adrian Babcock battled in the black belt category, though neither have black belts.
Coach Amber Pipe said it was because they needed stronger competition than what they would have faced in advanced.
Called the Panamerican Internationals, the tournament drew fighters from across the world, and Terrace’s Babcock said it was a great experience.
“Besides the Irish Open, it was one of the biggest tournaments we’ve ever been to,” he said. “The Irish Open was higher calibre, but this was very close to being just as tough.”
“It was good, a lot of fun. Tough competition…[but] that’s what we train for,” he said.
In the gold medal match for continuous fighting, Cline faced a 200 pound, 5’10” opponent who he described as “a counter fighter, very passive.”
With a similar build at 6’2” and 190 pounds, Cline said he fought offensively to gain the victory, with quick attacks that his opponent couldn’t handle.
“I just had to push the pace on him,” Cline said. “I put on the pressure.”
He beat the opponent to win gold in the heavy weight continuous category, and also earned third in point fighting.
Pipe said Cline fought well and seems to be “finding who he is as a fighter.”
“I have never seen him fight so free, relaxed and technical,” she said.
For Babcock, the experience was quite different.
Fights were particularly tough for him because he had chosen to drop nearly 20 pounds the week before in order to get into a lower weight class.
Not only did he miss the usual 24 hours to eat and recover from the weight cut, but he also wound up bumped into a higher weight class because there were no competitors in the lower one.
But Babcock still won gold in the continuous category, facing a 190 pound, 5’11” opponent in the finals.
Normally 178 pounds, Babcock fought at 163 pounds, but still managed to beat his opponent who was 190 pounds, and slightly taller than Babcock at 5’11”.
“He was super strong and ridiculously fast,” Babcock said.
“I went in hard, put pressure, pressure, pressure and he really couldn’t retaliate with anything while I was putting pressure on.”
Pipe said he did great.
“In true Adrian fashion he won gold without being hit,” she said.
After continuous, he went into point fighting where he took fifth out of six fighters, a disappointment for him after having claimed the point fighting title in a Western Canadian tournament in Vancouver last October.
But Babcock is still positive, acknowledging the good competition and noting that his weight loss did weaken him.
“Point fighting was a bit more challenging for me because I just felt so drawn out from the weight cut,” he said.
Colongard fought in the beginner division for continuous fighting, seizing gold in three fights. He also took third in point fighting.
Colongard said he was nervous and unaccustomed to competing, but felt good about how it went.
Pipe called him a star, saying he listened well to advice and fought patiently.
She credits his success to the level of training he gets at home, training against Cline, Babcock, and Nick Yasinchuk at the Terrace dojo.
Next up, martial artists at the Shogun Dojo will be training for the Irish Open at the end of February next year.