As always, the day before the tournament an official weigh-in was held. At the weigh-in, we had an opportunity to reunite with many people we had not seen for some time. Later, an IKO Officiating Clinic was also conducted. The clinic was led by Canada’s own IKO Chief Referee Shihan Stuart Corrigal. Seasoned officials honed their skills in the ring while others newer to the world of officiating, received training from one of the best. After the officiating clinic, a training Seminar was held for students of all ranks. Shihan Gorai from New York led the first half of the seminar. Kihon, an interesting array of ido geiko, and Tensho Kata were covered. In the second half of the seminar Shihan Corrigal introduced several goshin jitsu techniques. By the end of the session, there were more than a few perplexed faces in the room.
The next morning the tournament began. As the World Championships are coming up in November, this year the US Weight Category tournament was picked as one of the selection tournaments. Surprisingly, many of the European and Russian fighters did not attend this years’ event, making it truly a selection tournament for North America.
The morning began with the Kata rounds with 5 Canadians competing against individuals from around North America and the world. All showcased their forms beautifully and did a tremendous job.
Later, the children’s and youth Kumite divisions began. Rowan Gibson was the only Canadian to compete in the youth section of the tournament and managed to place 2nd in her division.
Next up were the adult divisions. Unfortunately for Doug Shermack his opponent withdrew from the competition and he did not end up having a match. The consummate karateka, he took it in stride and channelled his energy into supporting and coaching the rest of the Canadian team.
In the Open divisions Canada’s Mark Berg and Mohamed Chikh secured their spots on the North American team by winning respectively, the Super Heavy Weight and Heavy weight divisions. Congratulations.
That evening, participants, Coaches, Officials and supporters had an opportunity to relax at the Los Angeles Dojo in Little Tokyo district for the traditional Sayonara Party. All had a great time, and seized the opportunity to reflect on the day, visit, and reminisce with one another.
Congratulations to Shihan Taku Nakasaka for organizing and executing yet another great IKO event
In closing I would like to mention my appreciation of the IKOK-C and its leaders for continually driving this organization and its people to a higher standard. Since the 1980’s I have been a member of the IKOK-C, and in that time, the organization has continually presented me with opportunities and open doors to explore – in both my Kyokushin and personal life. I am appreciative and grateful. Thank you.