Two of Sooke’s martial artists, Carl Scott and Miller Mason, took home three medals at the Tiger Balm International competition, a high level competition for all styles of martial arts held in North Vancouver March 17 and 18.
Carl Scott, a second-degree black belt and Head Sensei at the Sooke Martial Arts Association (SMAA), won both a gold and a silver medal for two separate sparring categories.
Winning a gold medal means that Scott is invited to compete in the World’s competition in Dublin, Ireland. Scott began training with SMAA when he was just 11 years old in 1984. He earned his black belt in 1991 and became Head Sensei three years ago.
Miller Mason, a nine-year-old student with SMAA who holds his advanced yellow belt, won a bronze for his kata. Kata is a Japanese word used to describe a choreographed pattern of movements within a specific martial art.
According to his mother Karen, Miller was initially inspired by martial arts through movies like The Karate Kid and The Last Airbender, and he took to copying the moves and performing them for his parents. Wanting to learn more, Miller enrolled at SMAA.
“Since then, there has been a great improvement in his confidence and poise. Two years ago it was a challenge for him to even do his yells, known as Kee Yi’s in karate, in front of anyone. Now he takes pride in his confidence and ability and does his Kee Yi’s with the best of them. Not to mention the courage it took at the Tiger Balm International to stand in the middle of 2,000 people to perform his best, amidst chaos, with complete focus,” writes Karen proudly.
SMAA has been in Sooke since 1982. It is a non-profit, family oriented karate club. Eight karate black belt Sensei’s volunteer their time training little tots all the way up to more mature adults in the art of karate. The club is open at the Community Hall on Monday and Thursday nights. The Tiger Balm International is an annual competition held at Vancouver’s Capilano College sportsplex; it is considered the Pacific’s Northwest’s premier martial arts tournament.
A final reminder: The Sooke Martial Arts Association is offering two $500 bursaries for 2013 graduating students (including Adult Ed). If you are living in Sooke and graduating this year, you could be eligible. Deadline is May 1st. Contact EMCS (or the SMAA at sookemartialarts.com if you are a student elsewhere) for more details.
With notes from Karen Mason