A group of Shogun Martial Arts Academy students took their talents to Surrey April 27 for the BC Open Martial Arts Championships.
Alex Short, 11, Eric Bowman, 11, Ella Gayowski, 10, Soraya Lothrop, 9, and Sarrah Harras, 12, joined martial artists from throughout the province for the tournament, held at Earl Marriott Secondary School, while testing their skills in various and multiple events.
Alex competed in point sparring and kata, and battled to a bronze medal in his sparring division.
Ella was in weapons kata, kata and point sparring, and marched away with a silver in weapons kata and a silver in her sparring class.
Soraya, competing in weapons kata, individual kata and point sparring, won a gold in weapons, placing her in the grand champion division later in the tournament — an experience she said was awesome.
Sarrah, meanwhile, competing in her very first martial arts tournament, won a gold medal in kata and a silver in her sparring division.
All Shogun martial artists said they had a blast, and are looking forward to competing in more tournaments, while their Sensei, Sheldon Lainchbury, was thrilled with how his students competed.
“Everybody did really great,” Lainchbury said. “The thing I’m looking for when we go to these larger tournaments is their progress and they just keep improving. It’s exciting to see. You can see the goal they’re working to achieve and it’s coming up fast.”
Eric noted he thought the tournament was a good learning experience.
“My category it was a little more competitive than what I’m used to, so that was good,” he said.
Also at the tournaent, Shogun students had the opportunity to watch a U.S. vs. Canada exhibition point fighting match, featuring several world champions in action.
“That was really cool,” Alex said. “And we got to meet the world champion in point fighting right now [Jack Felton of the U.S.].”
Lainchbury added it’s always a fun time when members from the dojo travel to tournaments to compete.
“We always have a good time and create those memories we won’t forget, no matter what happens or how they do,” Lainchbury said.
“That’s what it’s all about.”
Students, and their parents, also thanked Sensei Lainchbury for travelling with the students to the tournament, and for lending his expertise and support.