Terrace’s Shogun Dojo 2015 is off to a strong start, with two competitions already under their belt and big goals for the future.
“Everybody did awesome,” said sensei Rajan Sangha of the first tournament of the year, the Tiger Balm championships in Vancouver, that saw Adrian Babcock, Rob Cline, Nick Yasinchuk, Caden Roy, Jenna Hoornenborg, Haley Mattheis, Sangha and Amber Pipe make the trip. Highlights for the club were a strong showing in jujitsu – which sensei Amber Pipe credits to Shane Palahicky and Tom Logan, two coaches who attended the tournament with their own club and also assisted the Shogun – and a chance to continue to raise the bar of competition and take away experiences that they can use in their training.
“We all know how good they are in their fighting, their continuous and their point fighting, but it was really good to see how they’ve progressed in such a short period of time for their jujitsu part of it,” said Sangha.
And it was a chance for the club’s newest competitor to show her stuff.
“We’ve seen Robbie win Grand Champion at his first tournament, and his little sister Hayley at her first tournament actually won Grand Champion in kata, so she was given the best kata out of all of the brown belt and under for her age, a pretty good achievement,” he said.
Sangha said she was inspired to join the club in October after last year’s Worlds competition in Richmond – she’d come along to watch her older brother – and now she’s competing against higher belts and stood out at both tournaments.
“Hayley walked away with gold in her point fighting, really good. A really good achievement,” he said, of the most recent tournament, the WKC Alberta Provincials in Edmonton.
And she didn’t let first competition nerves get to her. “I can see them at the dojo and how loose they are when we train,” he said. “She was super nervous at the beginning but after her first fight she loosened up, and after that she was good.”
And the club has been happy to welcome back Jenna Hoornenborg, who had trained with the club when she was younger, took a break, and is now back. “It’s like she hasn’t missed a beat since she’s been back,” he said.
“Jenna’s continuous fighting at Tiger Balm was huge. She had a lot of tough competition,” he said, noting that she upset a competitor who typically walks away with seven or eight gold medals at tournaments.
“We don’t like to say this but all of her fights, they weren’t even close,” said Sangha, of her performance in Edmonton.
And Sangha made up a team with two of his students, Robbie and Adrian, to compete in team point fighting. “We actually got second, which was pretty cool,” he said. “We lost in the finals by I think two points.”
Overall, both Sangha and Pipe were pleased at how the team was received at both tournaments. “We had multiple coaches come up to us saying how respectful our students were,” said Sangha. “How they presented themselves was a high point, we were really proud.”
“That, for me, is a straight correlation between how Rajan and I train them because I know that no matter what sport Rajan’s done he presents himself like an athlete and has great sportsmanship and that shows. It shows in our students,” said Pipe.
And Pipe said she’s been thrilled to see Sangha back in the ring after a hiatus and overcoming the competition.
“For me, the highlight was seeing him come to life again in the ring,” she said. “Because what that does is it also brings the excitement back to the little kids that we train.”
Both coaches are looking forward to this year’s competition schedule, with plans to travel to Montreal in June for the WKU nationals for the chance to qualify for team Canada, and also attend several other tournaments before hitting up New Orleans in December.
“The big thing for our fighters is every one of them has been going to these tournaments and doing well, and everyone wants to see the level of competition go up. They’re really eager to fight the best fighters that they can possibly fight, which is good,” said Sangha. “That’s the big thing for these guys, getting more and more experience.”
And here are the Shogun Dojo’s full results for both tournaments:
BJ- Brazilian jujitsu
SG- no gi submission grappling
MMA- mixed martial
WKC- continuous fighting
NBL- black belt point sparring
PS- point sparring
Tiger Balm Tournament:
Sensei Rajan Sangha: PS – silver
Adrienne Babcock: BJ – gold; SG – gold; WKC – gold; PS – silver; Kata – silver
Hayley Matthies: BJ – bronze; PS – gold; Kata – gold; Grand national champion – kata
Jenna Hoornenborg: WKC – gold; WKC exhibition – gold; PS – gold; Kata – silver
Caden Roy: WKC – bronze; PS – silver
Robbie Mattheis: BJ – bronze; SG – silver; PS – gold
Nick Yasinchuck: BJ – silver; SG – bronze; MMA – bronze; WKC – gold; PS – gold; Kata – bronze
WKC Alberta Provincials
Nick Yasinchuk Continuous fighting – gold; Point sparring – gold
Rob Cline: Continuous sparring – gold; Point sparring – silver
Adrian Babcock: Continuous fighting – gold; Point sparring – bronze
Jenna Hoornenborg: Continuous fighting – gold; Point fighting – gold; Kata – bronze
Hayley Mattheis: Point sparring – gold; Continuous sparring – bronze; Kata – silver
Rajan Sangha: Point sparring – gold
Adrian, Robbie, Rajan: Silver in team sparring