A passion for karate: Marlee Cormier and Quinn Brown

A passion for karate: Marlee Cormier training for success

            Marlee Cormier of Carlyle has continued her success over the past year competing on the Shintani team – Shintani Wado Kai Karate’s Team Canada.

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            “I originally joined karate because my older cousin was doing it,” Cormier explained. “When I was around 8-years-old I went to my first national tournament in Ontario. This was the first time I’d seen the Shintani national team. From then on the team members were people I looked up to and making the team became a goal and a dream of mine. As I got older these dreams became even more important to me.”

            Cormier’s focus and drive landed her on the Shintani team in 2016. She has continued to push and better herself.

            “Over the past year I have been training and teaching karate,” Cormier explained. “Recently I moved to Calgary to continue training.”

            She has seen much success over the year having competed around the world. In September the team was in Dublin, Ireland where she finished 5th in kata and 7th in kumite. In October she competed in Winnipeg earning a 3rd place finish in kata and 2nd in kumite. November saw competition here in Carlyle where she took 1st in kata and 2nd in kumite. January she spent time in Saskatoon earning a 3rd in kata and 1st in kumite. In Calgary this past March she finished 3rd in kata and 2nd in kumite as well as 2nd in the open kata and 1st in the open kumite. Competition in Halifax was tough, but she finished 9th in kata and 7th in kumite.

Internationally she then travelled to Las Vegas where she placed 3rd in the U21-61kg, 6th senior-61kg, and 2nd with team kumite. Then back in Canada she competed in Saskatoon placing 2nd in kata, 2nd in “role the dice” kata, and 2nd in kumite. Most recently she competed in Calgary where she earned 3rd in the U21-61kg kumite, 3rd in senior-61kg kumite, 3rd in the u21 open weight, and 2nd in the senior open weight.

(Kata is essentially a rehearsed shadow fight where choreographed patterns and movements are memorized then performed in front of judges. It is also a way to hone a competitor’s skills. Kumite is the competition or fight against an opponent.)

Coming up she will be competing in the Shintani National tournament May 25-27 in Ontario.

“My favourite part about being on the team has been all of the experiences it has given me,” Cormier said. “I’ve been able to travel and meet people from different places in the world. Being a part of the team has given me so many incredible opportunities.”

“The dojo is a place where I have always felt comfortable. I love being able to travel anywhere in Canada and have somewhere to go that feels like home.”

“I’ve always loved and enjoyed karate,” Cormier added. “Recently I’ve began training and competing in sport karate which has shown me another aspect of the sport. I love that there’s always more to learn which helps to keep me interested and dedicated towards the sport. However, without the support of my friends, family, and community I would have never made it this far.”

A passion for karate: Quinn Brown continually striving forward

            Quinn Brown of Arcola is also on the Shintani Team and has been hard at work both at the University of Regina as well as with training.

            “I have been able to practice in Regina at the local Shintani Wado Kai Club (McLurg School) as well as many weekends up in Saskatoon training with the Prairie Karate Association (PKA) Team,” Brown said. “The weekend trainings were with a group of Shotokan practitioners which has helped me expand my karate knowledge and skill set.”

            Brown has ensured the time to focus both on his schooling – a Bachelor of Science – and the Shintani Team.

            “As of the end of April I have completed my fourth year of schooling,” he explained. “I have taken a reduced course-load throughout the last few semesters to accommodate for the busy schedule that I split between karate and school. It has made university far more manageable, while still fulfilling my desire to pursue karate.”

            “As a member of the Shintani Team, I have been able to compete and train with some absolutely amazing people. I have been able to travel and compete all across Canada as well as internationally, which has led to meeting some incredible people. All of these things have gone on to shape my karate experience the past two years.”

            Notably over the last year, Brown says, “I have gone to quite a few tournaments this year, notably the Irish International Open, and Karate Canada Nationals. While I didn’t come out of these tournaments with any hardware they offered international and national experience, respectively. I felt that I competed well at both and they have definitely helped me grow as a karateka. I look forward to the Shintani National Tournament a little later on in the month.”

            For Brown, who has achieved the rank of Nidan (second degree), he enjoys pushing himself in both the kata and the kumite. The competitions appeal to him, but he also enjoys the efforts and focus needed to continue learning and growing.

            “I achieved the rank of Nidan in May of 2017, it will be at least three more years until I can even attempt to get my Sandan (third degree) as there are both time requirements at the rank as well as minimum age requirements.”

            Overall he says he enjoys karate for a few different reasons:

            “It has allowed me to meet and talk to many people in our organization who have been around the SWKKF for far longer than myself allowing me to get an idea of the history of the organization.”

            “Although real-world application of being able to defend yourself is important, karate has also taught me control and discipline which can be applied to so much more.”

            “[And] I think the focus to allow myself to get to this level of competition that I am at stems from a sheer passion for karate. The SWKKF as a while is an inviting, likable group of people who are almost like another family.”

            Brown’s next competition is also coming up May 25-27 in Ontario at the Shintani National tournament.

            “I would just like to thank all of the people who have taught me, trained with me, and taken me into their homes throughout my karate career as they are all an important part of who I am as a karateka.”



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