The 10th most practiced sport in the world, ahead of both golf and baseball in participation levels globally, karate was again celebrated in our community last weekend, this time at the Campbell River Community Centre.
“We had 104 people from all over come to participate,” said Roy Tippenhauer, sensei of the Shito Ryu Karate Club, who hosts the annual tournament, known as the Challenge Cup. “Everyone seemed to have a great time. I look around and see all the smiling faces … and I know it went well.”
This year was the tenth annual Challenge Cup and the move to the Community Centre from the various school gymnasiums around town that had hosted it in the past was a natural one, according to Tippenhauer.
“It’s a fabulous venue,” he said. “Because it’s a community event, we’d been wanting a community venue for a while. If the tournament gets much bigger, we might have a hard time hosting it there, but for now it really works well for us.”
The Shito Ryu Club had impressive results at their own tournament, as well. 47 of the 104 competitors came from the home dojo, and took home 50 awards, including 18 gold, 13 silver, and 12 bronze medals. 14 of their group who did not win awards nevertheless achieved personal bests.
Despite having ten national champions from his dojo over its 30-year span and regularly feeding students into the provincial and national tournaments (they currently have four students on the provincial team), Tippenhauer said his biggest accomplishment is the confidence gained by those who study with him.
“It’s the kids I’ve seen go from a shy child to an adolescent or adult with confidence and contributing to society,” he said. “Whether they stay in the sport is irrelevant, but what they learn through karate – such as confidence and self-esteem – will always be with them. Too much emphasis is placed on winning today and not enough on developing and learning to have the confidence needed to succeed in all parts of life,” he added.
The club would particularly like to thank the Karate BC certified and trained officials who attended the tournament, and the volunteers who made the event possible.
“We would also like to thank the parents of members and the members themselves for the continuous support of our discipline,” Tippenhauer said.