Three Williams Lake Shogun Martial Arts Academy students were in Cadiz, Spain from Oct. 31 to Nov. 5 competing at the World Karate and Kickboxing Council (WKC) World Championships.
The event featured thousands of martial artists from countries around the world taking part in a variety of events.
From Williams Lake were Katharina Koppe, Abrie Kilian and Glen Rogers, all of whom train out of Shogun Martial Arts Academy. The trio competed in continuous fighting at the event and each earned their spot at worlds by qualifying following provincial and national tournaments held earlier this year.
Koppe competed in the women’s 60-65 kilogram open division, while Kilian and Rogers were both in the men’s 80-85 kilogram class.
For Kilian, however, his tournament would be cut short by injury. Kilian was forced to drop out of the tournament after re-injuring his knee during his first match.
“I was fighting a gentleman from Northern Ireland,” Kilian said. “Almost halfway through our fight I re-injured it. Because of that I had to withdraw from point fighting, too.”
Despite that, Kilian said it was a privilege to be a part of the Canadian team and to represent Canada.
“You are humbled in a very positive way by the stature of the individuals you travel with,” he said. “They are some really great competitors. All of them are world class — the coaching staff, the management, absolutely professional.”
Koppe, who attended last year’s world championships, finished fifth this year.
“I was up against a competitor from England,” Koppe said. “I thought my own performance was better than last year but probably I could have been more aggressive. Finishing fifth, it wasn’t different from last year, but I think for me personally it went better.”
As for Rogers, Kilian said his tournament went exceptionally well.
“His first fight against an Englishman was a very good fight. At first his opponent was all over him but what Glen did is he really stuck it out,” Kilian said. “Because of our training we do here we were some of the fittest at the tournament and it really showed.
“In the second round he beat his opponent.”
In his second fight Rogers was up against the eventual gold-medal winner, a martial artist from Belgium.
“The fight was a beautiful exhibition of kickboxing,” Kilian said. “Both were tactical fighters and both landed some very good punches. I just believe Glen got beat by a guy that was a tad better and I think the guy showed his experience.”
The judges gave Rogers’ opponent the win via split decision; however, Rogers marched away from the world championships with a bronze medal.
“It was pretty good. Not gold, but it’s alright,” Rogers joked.
The team travelled with Smithers Shogun Martial Arts’ Marwan Abu Khadra, Team Canada’s continuous fighting coach, and team medical doctor Rochagne Kilian, along with close to 20 other Shogun Martial Arts students from B.C.
Williams Lake Shogun Martial Arts Academy Sensei Sheldon Lainchbury said the local dojo is extremely proud of the trio.
“They did great,” Lainchbury said. “I watched some of their video footage and it looked really good. We’re extremely proud and they really trained hard and persevered. Abrie’s injury was unfortunate but you’ve just got to take it as a grain of salt and keep going.
“They all did really well and we’re really proud of them and where they placed.”