Campbell River’s Brody Christensen (right) spars on Saturday. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River Shito-Ryu hosts annual Challenge Cup

Local athletes post strong results at karate event

Karate practitioners from Vancouver Island and beyond gathered at the Campbell River Community Centre last Saturday for the Campbell River Shito-Ryu Challenge Cup.

It marked the 14th year for the event, which brought athletes to town to compete in different aspects of the martial art. Most were from Vancouver Island, but some came from Mainland clubs.

While the event is competitive, local sensei Roy Tippenhauer emphasizes it is about fun and personal development. Still, it provides a chance to hone one’s skills.

“If they did well in their division, it’s a chance to move up a division,” he says.

Some athletes are now moving up the ranks, such as Cody Chamberlin, who finished third at nationals.

“I taught him for just about nine years now,” says Tippenhauer.

For many, the club offers children and adults a chance to learn the sport and develop both as an athlete and a person, Tippenhauer says pointing to someone like member Sandra Chervel, who competes and is involved in different aspects of Campbell River Shito-Ryu.

“She’s starting to become a big part of this club,” he says.

Last weekend, athletes from six to 55 took part from the local club.

For Campbell River Shito-Ryu, there are usually about four or five big events a year. The Oct. 27 event was the second in Island Golden League so far this year, with one event happening Victoria in September.

The events involve events around forms and sparring, and include the use of weapons.

Tippenhauer gives the story of how karate developed on Okinawa, with peasant farmers needing a means to protect themselves against the Samurai from Japan, which included developing weapons.

“They weren’t allowed to have weapons in those days because they were peasants,” he said. “They developed their own set of tools they ended up using as weapons.”

Still, he says there are a lot of misconceptions around karate, particularly that is a violent sport. Instead, it’s about protecting oneself rather than beating an opponent, with discipline being key to everything.

“Karate means opens open hands,” he said. “Karate is about self-defence.”

Some parents still expect the classes to be about violence, but Tippenhauer put his two daughters through the sport to build self-esteem and self-discipline, and he often hears from families about how much studying karate has helped kids with school and at home.

Campbell River

Shito-Ryu results

Girls 14/15 Kumite adv

2 – Sienna Stephens

Women 18yrs & up – Kata

2 – Sandra Chervel

Boys 10/11 Kata A

3 – Malcolm Campbell

Boys 10/11 Kata D

2 – Nicholas Wong

3 – Carson Cooledge

Boys 12/13 Kata A

2 – Brody Christensen

3 – Rylan King

Boys 12/13 Kumite A

3 – Brody Christensen

Boys 14/15 Kata A

1 – Chayton Lapp

2 – Gavin Hazlehurst

Boys 14/15 Kata B

3 – Cole Stinson

Boys 14/15 Kumite A

1 – Gavin Hazlehurst

2 – Chayton Lapp

Boys 14/15 Kumite B adv

1 – Cole Stinson

Boys 16/17 – Kata

1 – Cody Chamberlin

Boys 16/17 Kumite adv

1 – Cody Chamberlin

Men 18 & up Kata A

3 – Shawn Martin

Men 18 & up Kata B

2 – Cody Chamberlin

Men 18 & up Kumite A

2 – Shawn Martin

Mixed Team Kata 9 & under

3 – Campbell River (Claire Cooledge, Grace Fraser, Tianna Hansen)

Girls 8/9 Kata A

1 – Claire Cooledge

2 – Grace Fraser

3 – Tianna Hansen

Girls 8/9 Kata B

3 – Aria Parent

Mixed weapons 13-16 A

3 – Chayton Lapp

Girls 10/11 Kata A

3 – Keira Cummings

Girls 10/11 Kata B

1 – Rianna Potorieko

Girls 10/11 Kumite B

3 – Rianna Potorieko

Girls 12/13 Kata A

2 – Kenza Campbell

Girls 12/13 Kata B

1 – Nola Cooledge

Girls 14/15 Kata

2 – Sienna Stephens


Sandra Cherval of Shito-Ryu competes at forms during the Challenge Cup. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror