2014 Banff Kyokushin Karate Championships
It has been 10 years since Banff Kyokushin Karate (BKK) has hosted a tournament. 10 years ago I was only a competitor. This year, along with a fantastic team of volunteers, BKK hosted its second tournament. As tournament director I learned a tremendous amount about what can happen behind the scenes of the kata and bouts happening on the mats. While in the past I had an inkling of the coordination and collaboration required to execute a successful event, now I am acutely aware of the how much an event relies on the greater Kyokushin community to be successful. A tournament director has to have buy in from family, friends, dojo members, their family, parents and even community members that are uninvolved in Karate. I can honestly say we had buy in from all those categories beyond my expectations.
Our reason for hosting this tournament was to provide Banff students with a local opportunity to compete, increase the exposure of the Banff dojo locally, and to contribute to the greater community of the IKOK-C by owning an event in The World’s Finest National Park (™). We have made great strides forward in all three areas and managed to have a great party too! BKK will use the funds raised for our dojo to buy equipment and help support and encourage fighter travel to tournaments this year.
We had had over 80 competitors register for the tournament and I was impressed with the kata and kumite throughout the day. Our children’s divisions were well attended and I believe many students had an opportunity to compete with someone new in all the children’s divisions. In the youth and adult categories we had fewer entrants than I’d hoped which required Banff members to fight each other to fill the categories. I was worried this would affect the quality of the fights and I was happily proven wrong as my dojo members tore into each other with a determination that was nerve wracking! The ladies teenage 14-16 year old knockdown category really impressed me. The 5 ladies in that division fought technical and spirited matches throughout that were very exciting to watch.
While I did not organize special awards in advance of the tournament I want to recognize one fighter for the Spirit Award post tournament. Martin Lefebvre fought in the 19 and over coloured belt division. At 140lbs he would normally be fighting in the lightweight category. In his second tournament ever, and 4 years since his last tournament, Martin stepped up huge to compete in the heavyweight category. The smallest weight difference between him and the next lightest competitor was 36 pounds. The largest, 96 pounds! Martin managed to achieve a silver medal placement. Congratulations Martin on a fantastic return to competition.
In addition to the tournament this event included a silent auction, 50/50 draw with door prizes, the World Famous Kyokushin Kitchen with tacos in a Bag and the Kyokushin Cabaret Sayonara party. All of these components would not have been possible without the fantastic volunteers we had helping. Helpers ranged from club members of all ages, to their parents, friends and family. I want to thank everyone tremendously for their assistance and participation and also recognize a few key people whose help was instrumental in pulling this together. Julie Miller, volunteer organizer and chief sounding board, Sue Treppenhauer silent auction coordinator, master baker, auctioneer and chief fundraiser, Silas Rutley silent auction procurement and 50/50 specialist, Shaeney Miller and Blair Wereboresky Kyokushin Kitchen shoppers and cooks, Sharel Miller Kyokushin Kitchen staff and Sayonara Party Bartender. In addition, I want to thank Sensei Brad for lugging all the equipment from Calgary that we used for the tournament. No gear=no tournament. Thank you Sensei. Lastly, Sempai’s from all over the place, thank you for promoting the tournament and bringing/sending your students and for your advice in advance, and onsite. I learned a great deal, had a lot of fun and we will be back next year. See you in January for the 2015 Banff Kyokushin Karate Championships.
Banff Kyokushin Karate
Official Results (in order of appearance)
All Knockdown categories required a fight for 3rd place when applicable