St Lucia Star: Shotokan Karate Takes Center Stage
Shotokan Karate takes center stage
Written By: Star Reporter on Aug 14th, 2009
One of the proudest moments in the story of Shotokan Karate in St Lucia was initiated with the arrival of Sensei’s Frank Woon-a-Tai eighth Dan and Doctor Dexter Shim seventh Dan President and Vice President, respectively, of the Caribbean Karate College (CKC) and Sensei Frieda Shim. They arrived in advance of the other officials and participants of in the eighth ISKF/CKF Karate Championship and third Karate-do Symposium to be held from Thursday, August 13 to Sunday August 16.
Among other persons expected is Shihan Teruyuki Okazaki, 10th Dan Chairman and Chief Instructor of the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) who arrived here on Wednesday August 12th, 2009.
The evening of his arrival Sensei Woon-A-Tai, conducted a two- hour training exercise from 6–8pm, at the Beausejour Indoor Practice Facility. The training session was attended by members of the SLSKA and involved an intense physical regime and lectures on Kihon, Kata and Kumite. Woon-A-Tai Sensei expounded on the finer points of executing techniques and generation of maximum power. Karate-kas focused on developing their techniques for the tournament. The instructor emphasized the importance of developing and exhibiting the proper mindset, for competition. Sensei, during the course of the training exercise used several practical examples and demonstrations to illustrate his points. He reminded karate-kas that karate originated from natural body actions and therefore our training foundation should be rooted in basics.
On Tuesday August 11, Sensei’s Woon-A- Tai, Dexter and Frieda Shim met jointly with representatives form the Ministries of Education and Sports to discuss among other things the development of Karate in schools and the inclusion of Karate on the CXC Curriculum. The objectives of the presentation was geared towards enabling the ministry officials to have a better appreciation of the significance of ensuring that any school programme is properly executed and managed by qualified individuals. That evening 6pm. members of the SLSKA participated in another symposium and the 40th Grading Exercise, conducted by Master Frank Woon-A-Tai, and Senseis Dr Dexter and Frieda Shim.
Doctor Shim conducted the training seminar for the night. His emphasis was placed on the different levels of warm-up exercises that can be utilized at different stages of training. Participants including some members of the Guyana contingent went through a series of exercise routines highlighting the subject of warm-up. Sensei Shim also stressed the need to utilize the elastic nature of the body in executing karate techniques. Everyone was overwhelmed by the simplicity, yet intense nature of these routines. The session closed with practice in generating a powerful reverse punch followed by a strong but relaxed recovery.
The eighth Karate Championships and 3rd Karate Symposium kicks-off on Thursday, August 13th from. Participants, officials and members of the local cub will be engaged in training under the leadership of Shihan Okazaki. Activity for the symposium on Thursday will see participation in a judge’s clinic, and Dan and Judge’s Examination from 9am– 4pm. Tournament participants, (judges and competitors) will also familiarize themselves with the contest rules. Four members of the SLSKA will test for higher Dan grades.
On Friday 14th and Saturday 15th August, the elimination process will commence each day from 10am – 6pm. The Friday activity will be for the youth categories form 7- 17 years on Saturday 15th, for adults and seniors. The finals will be held on Sunday August 16th, from 1pm to 6pm. All activities will be at the Beausejour Indoor Practice Facility.
The four-day event sanctioned by ISKF, presented by the CKC is hosted by the SLSKA. The local fraternity is overjoyed to be the host of such a prestigious event. The SLSKA continues to
work assiduously in conjunction with parents of students and other supporters to ensure that the event is an immensely successful and memorable experience for both local and overseas participants and the St Lucian public.