A trio of lakecity martial artists battled their way to multiple gold medals last month at the Smithers Shogun Battle.
Williams Lake Shogun Martial Arts Academy students Soraya Lothrop, 9, Eric Bowman, 11, and Ella Gayowski, 10, represented the local club at the competition.
Bowman, who has been training in martial arts for four years, brought home a gold in team kata and two silver medals in kata and point fighting, respectively.
A blue belt, Bowman said he had a great time implementing what he’s been learning back home in Williams Lake.
“I enjoy individual kata and point sparring the most, I think,” Bowman said. “But kata is probably the best. It’s something I like to do and my Senseis seem happy with how I’m doing because I have power, finesse and accuracy.”
Gayowski, a blue belt with six years of experience under her belt, picked up a gold medal in team kata, a silver medal in weapons kata and a bronze medal in point fighting.
“I think it went great,” she said. “Going against other people that were in Shogun made it quite a bit of fun.”
Lothrop, meanwhile, competed to three gold medals in kata, team kata and weapons kata. She also fought to a bronze medal in point fighting.
The nine year old martial artist has been practicing in the discipline since she was five.
“It was really fun to compete as part of a team,” Lothrop said of the experience. “I liked all of it.”
All three martial artists said they’d like to thank their Senseis Lee-Ann and Sheldon Lainchbury, and kaizos (assistant Senseis) for all their hard work getting them ready for the event.
The trio trained three to four times a week to prepare.
“The kids all did so good,” Sheldon said.
“Some things I didn’t get to watch because I was judging but the things that I saw were all really good … they were excellent.”
Coming up, Williams Lake Shogun Martial artists are preparing for the BC Open — a large competition where hundreds of martial artists from the province will converge in Surrey April 27.
Sheldon added the local martial arts dojo has been busy, with many athletes potentially getting ready to compete at the BC Open.
“[Martial arts] is growing all the time,” he said.
“Parents are getting their kids in and they’re learning good discipline, getting exercise and learning leadership skills. You’re taught to follow good morals.”