Moose Mountain Wado Kai Karate Club hosted a Kata clinic and Kumite competition on Nov. 22, 23 and 24. Jason Humphries is the head instructor of the Club and holds a black belt. The club has 85 members at present and welcomes anyone interested to join or who would like to volunteer. The event was organized by Kevin Dyck and Roland Bouchard, with the help of the club’s members.
This is an annual event that includes participants from across Canada. This year there were approximately 130 participants of all levels of achievement. Karate participants are identified by a colour of belt. Each colour signifies the level of advancement the participant has achieved. A beginner wears a white belt and advances to a black belt.
To begin karate a person must be five years of age or close to their fifth birthday. The belt colours begin with white, then yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown and finally black. A red belt is worn by a competitor considered a junior, who has the skill to be a black belt, that is under 16 years of age.
Friday night at the Kata clinic, the instructor was Sensei Ron Mattie, who is an eight degree black belt and Sensei Darren Humphries who is a six degree black belt. Ron Mattie was attending from Hamilton, Ontario. Also attending from Welland, Ontario was Sensei Dennis Labbe who is a nine degree black belt and is the President of Shintani Karate Federation. Kata is a sequence of movements against multiple imaginary opponents, similar to shadow boxing.
Saturday at Gordon F. Kells High School was the Kumite competition. To spar in the competition one must complete a Kata demonstration, which grades the participant.
The sparring competition is a two-minute Kumite [match] that is won by the competitor scoring the most points. A competitor can win the match should they obtain three points at any time before two minutes.
Each bout has five judges; four corner and one centre. The four corner judges have two flags - a red and a white designated for each opponent to indicate points. To score a point a competitor must receive three flags of his designated colour from the corner judges.
The competition area is called a dojo and it is respectful that each competitor bows when entering or leaving the facility.
Karate is a martial art that has its beginnings dating back thousands of years. It originated in Okinawa and it was influenced by Chinese martial arts known as Kung Fu. It was introduced into Canada by Masami Tsuruoka and has a national organization with over 16,000 participants.
The weekend event included a banquet at Kuzina’s Bistro in Carlyle and an instructor clinic that was held on Sunday at Carlyle Elementary School.