Karate competition returns to Thompson after long hiatus

The Thompson Midwest Karate Club hosted the 2020 Joseph Kyrschuk Memorial Tournament at the Thompson Regional Community Centre Jan. 18. Sensei Peter de Beer said the event, which attracted 50 competitors ranging in age from eight to 45 years old, was the first karate tournament in Thompson in approximately 20 years.

De Beer said it was a great tournament.

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“I’ve known them for quite a number of years, from The Pas and Flin Flon,” he said. “And it was great that we had the opportunity to do this, and have them come to our neighbourhood instead of us always going there. And it looks like everyone had a good time.”

De Beer said the tournament divisions were kata, team kata and kumite.

“The kata is the demonstration of their katas [looks like the karate version of tai chi],” explained de Beer. “A team kata is like synchronized swimming. They have to do it all together, and they are scored on their synchronization. Kumite is the actual fighting, and that’s where they are controlling their distance [to avoid full contact].”

De Beer said there were a number of officials that governed each match in order to score the contestants and maintain the discipline of as little contact as possible.

“We watch for controlling distance and make sure they don’t get too close,” he said. “Today there were a couple of penalties handed out, and there was a little bit of contact. We had a couple of strikes today but nobody got seriously hurt.”

Confidence, self-worth and self-defence are be Beers’s goal for the kids who participate in karate.

“It helps them to achieve goals,” he said. “It’s a pleasure for them to go and compete, and they get to make friends all over the place. As they go into different tournaments, they are going to meet people from other provinces. And over the years I’ve known people from B.C. to Newfoundland.”

Thompson’s Om Vyas won the athlete of the year trophy, and Chami Nyabeze won the sportsmanship trophy. 

For more information on the Thompson Midwest Karate Club, contact Peter de Beer at 204-679-1506 or by email at mushudebeer@hotmail.com. Inquiries can also be directed to Zini de Beer at 204-679-3524 or zinidebeer@gmail.com.

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