Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake Shotokan members place at Karate B.C. tournament

Karate members return to Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake with silver and gold medals.

Karate black belts from Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake.

Vanderhoof/Fraser Lake — The Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) clubs participated in a Karate B.C. Tournament in Prince George May 2. Four members received medals in their divisions.

“Karate B.C. are the ones that put the tournament together but since it was an open tournament anyone could participate. So even though it was organized by a separate organization, we thoroughly enjoyed it,” Brent Guenther, Vanderhoof ISKF Sensei said.

More than 60 People from Kitimat, McKenzie, Prince George, Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake competed in the tournament to name just a few.

Black belt Guenther took home gold in the men’s advanced kata.

A kata is a pre-arranged set of movements designed to fight an imaginary opponent, Guenther said.

“Katas help to develop skills. Through repetitive motions each belt level learns its own kata, a completely different set of movements. Through repetition and refining those skills it helps develop it so if you go up against a real opponent you have a whole arsenal of different skills because you’ve learned different ones,” Guenther said.

Keelan Wiebe, 18, a brown belt from Vanderhoof, won silver in the intermediate men’s kata.

“For it being my first time at a tournament it was actually really good.  I felt I deserved the silver because in the tournament you do three unique different katas. I messed up on one I forgot about but on the other two I did quite well,” Wiebe said.

Guenther agreed that Wiebe arose to the occasion.

“He is our most promising brown belt student. He’s been doing it a long time now and he’s coming along nicely,” Guenther said.

The Vanderhoof club’s treasurer and black belt, Peter Ryks, took home a bronze medal in the advanced men’s Kata. Guenther and Ryks are also known in ISKF as Shodan, which means first degree black belt.

Another black belt, Dale Peck, 39, is the sensei at the Fraser Lake location. He was awarded a silver medal in the advanced men’s kata.

Peck also brought three others from Fraser Lake with him including Trevor Stone, 9, who won bronze in kumite, which is fighting an actual opponent.

Bryson Bisanz and Ben Conwright also competed but even though they didn’t leave with a medal it was just their first tournament.

“Kumite had some pretty tough competition. Trevor did an excellent job, had great form. They all had great form, great skills, and it was their first tournament and they didn’t have as advanced notice to participate at a higher level. When Ben fought against one of their elite fighters from Prince George, the elite fighter cleaned house in the whole division so he didn’t have much of a chance to win out of that,” Peck said.

For more information on ISKF, visit www.iskfbc.ca.